Daily Encouragement: Day 214

From Handbook to Wisdom, Day 214


Having the firstfruits of the Spirit,
I groan inwardly as I wait eagerly for my adoption,
the redemption of my body.
For in hope I have been saved,
but hope that is seen is not hope;
for who hopes for what he sees?
But if I hope for what I do not yet see,
I eagerly wait for it with perseverance.
(Romans 8:23–25)

I have not been made perfect, but I press on
to lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus also laid hold of me.
I do not consider myself yet to have attained it,
but one thing I do: forgetting what is behind
and stretching forward to what is ahead,
I press on toward the goal to win the prize
of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 3:12–14)

In the film Chariots of Fire, there is a significant scene when Eric Liddell takes his sister Jennie for a walk in the hills of Scotland to explain his commitment to training for the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris. He tells her, “I’ve decided—I’m going back to China. The missionary service accepted me.” Jennie rejoices to hear this, since she fears her brother’s calling to be a missionary is being threatened by his interest in running.

However, Eric goes on to say, “But I’ve got a lot of running to do first. Jennie—Jennie, you’ve got to understand. I believe that God made me for a purpose—for China. But He also made me fast! And when I run, I feel His pleasure. To give it up would be to hold Him in contempt. You were right. It’s not just fun. To win is to honor Him.”

Liddell was a man of focus and passion because he pursued a growing sense of God’s purpose for his life. “When I run, I feel His pleasure”—what do you do that makes you feel God’s pleasure? Frederick Buechner put it this way in Wishful Thinking: A Theological ABC: “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” As you become a person of calling and purpose, you come to realize that God’s good pleasure is also your good pleasure. Seek satisfaction apart from Him, and you will never find it; seek to please Him first, and you discover that satisfaction is a byproduct of the pursuit of God.

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