In l936, athlete Jesse Owens went to compete at the Olympics in Berlin where Adolph Hitler, dictator of Germany, was present. But that did not intimidate Jesse who was an African American. He was confident of his ability and today is perhaps the most memorable Olympic athlete, achieving what no other Olympian had accomplished. He discredited Hitler’s theory of the master race, affirming that “Individual excellence rather than race or national origin distinguishes one man from another.” Perhaps he was driven by knowing “God made every nation of one blood” (“of one man,” Acts 17:26 NIV).
Christian friend, how are you running the spiritual race? Are you running with uncertainty? Discouraged? Tired and ready to quit? Remember, God “is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6). “Run in such a way that you may win,’’ as the apostle Paul said, “not to obtain a perishable crown, but an imperishable crown’’ (I Cor. 9:24-25). Are you reaching for the goal, having confidence that you “can do everything through Him who gives you strength’’ (Philippians 3:13)?
“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us’’ (Hebrews 12:1). Remember, physical exercise profits only a little, but “godliness with contentment is great gain’’ (I Timothy 6:6).