Look Up and Listen

Post by Joel Osteen on August 10, 2018

We all face opposition and things that come against us. It's easy to get discouraged and give up on what we're believing for. Sometimes we feel alone, as though nobody knows or cares about what we're going through. We get weary and faint in our mind.

In Hebrews 11, it talks about the heroes of faith and all the amazing things they accomplished. It wasn't easy. They endured hardships, were mistreated and had plenty of opportunities to give up, but they stayed faithful and fulfilled their purpose. Hebrews 12:1 says, "Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us." This passage paints the picture of a huge heavenly stadium filled with the saints of old, and the heroes of faith are cheering us on in our race. All of heaven is rooting for you, including your loved ones who have gone before you. They're watching you right now and calling out, "Go for it! Life may get tough, but you've got what it takes. We believe in you." When you're tempted to faint in your mind and settle, look up through eyes of faith and hear the cheers from the heavenly saints.

Think of the heroes of faith. They didn't have a Bible like we do today. They didn't have the written promises to stand on like we do. They didn't know how it was going to turn out, yet they chose to believe. Think of David, think of Moses, think of Abraham and Sarah. They withstood hardships, endured ridicule, fought giants, overcame enemies. They made it through the desert without a podcast encouraging them. They made it to the Promised Land without airplanes, without grocery stores, without GPS. They made it without all the conveniences that we're blessed with. Imagine what you and I can do. This is our day to set new standards, to take new ground.

Are you fainting in your mind? Are you giving up on a dream, talking yourself out of doing something great? God is saying, "Get your passion back." Your relatives have paid too great a price and made too many sacrifices for you to stop where you are. Quit letting life's light afflictions keep you from running your race with purpose. When you're tempted to get discouraged, just look up and imagine in that heavenly stadium that people are calling out your name, saying, "Run, baby, run! Stay strong. This is your time. You are well able. Leave your mark!"


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