Getting Past the Burn

John Tilton

"I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace." (Acts 20:23-24)
Paul knew what to expect ahead, however, he was so set on knowing the call on his life by Jesus Christ that he considered his life worth nothing unless he was able to finish the race and complete the task. Mind that he doesn't say try, but rather he says complete. I wonder how I might do if I knew that in order to fulfill God's call on my life, that I would face prison time, beatings, sacrifices?
Fortunately, I don't face prison time or beatings, and God has been very faithful to provide for my family and my needs. However, the enemy is alive and well today, even causing havoc between friends, peers and family, often blindsiding us with issues that could have only be set by the enemy and his craftiness. Friendly fire, human emotions, miscommunication and misunderstandings are very real even in ministry. If we are so blessed and strong enough to keep our eyes on Jesus and take the position of Paul in knowing our call and that we will persevere and endure to finish the race and complete the task ... yay! I got blindsided today with some people issues that I didn't cause or instigate, however, it's my call and duty to find or perhaps induce resolution and perhaps find solutions. Yet, in the heat of the moment ... ouch. God is faithful, and I will trust in Him to help me finish the race even through the "burn;" that time in the race where your insides are burning, yet you push yourself to make it through the last leg and cross the finish line. Even when unexpected occurrences often confront me when I'm being blindsided and seemingly attached from more the one direction, I know that God will numb the burn and get me through. I was helping set up tents today and we were short-handed. With three more tents to go I thought, I am tired, my back and legs are fatigued. My next thought was, just pick up the pipe, pull the canvas, lift the roof and don't think about being tired or fatigued. And then it was done. I walking away feel victorious.
Lord, please bless me and help me to finish the race you've called me to run in ministry and serving you, in spite of the people challenges or obstacles that the enemy throws in front of me. Please help me to bring solutions and resolution with a kind and encouraging word that can cut through to people or loved ones that are hurting and in need. May I be able to life spirits that are crushed or bring hope where there is futility.

Devotions for October 24

Job 15
Acts 19,20

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