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Dust To Glory

Dust To Glory
When The Dust Settles

And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Romans 5:3-4 (NKJV)

Once a year in November a large group of off-roading enthusiasts gather just south of the border in the city of Ensenada, Mexico for an event known as the Baja 1000.  It's an event that tests the skill, perseverance, endurance and character of every person competing.  I have had the privilege of competing and completing this event and have even experienced victory, but the real trophy wasn't the plastic one given by the event's organizers, but the lessons I learned by participating and finishing well.

Looking back on my experience, I can see God's hand upon my life and the race, as He was chiseling and shaping my character while teaching me about hope. I believe God does this with every one of us, albeit differently for each.   

There is a movie about the Baja 1000 race called, Dust to Glory. The movie documents the race in such a way so the viewer will get an accurate idea of what the competitors face.  Helicopters capture radical shots as racers reach speeds surpassing 100mph in the dirt.  Some sections of the race will utilize the asphalt streets of Mexico, while most of the race actually utilizes sand washes, open desert, and the rocky natural terrain of the Mexican peninsula.

There is one part of the movie where two motorcycle racers are competing for the overall lead of the event.  As they raced along the coastline, one racer tracked the course that was marked, while the other one chose to get off of the roughly beaten official path laid out and take a significantly easier section on the smooth sands of the beach - the whole battle being captured on film.  

At the end of this intense battle through this section, the rider who chose the rougher course through the tough challenging terrain was still in the physical lead.  It was obvious he had encountered a greater degree of difficulty, pain and suffering, but he never succumbed to the temptation to quit or take an easier path.   When he handed off his bike to his riding partner it could truthfully be said "he finished his race well."

And when they had preached the gospel to that city and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, "We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God." Acts 14:21-22 (NKJV)

We are all running the race of life and we will all be tempted to take the easy route.  Many live their life like they are competing, and think about finishing first - but to finish first, we must first finish.  Luke said it best in the Book of Acts when he said, "We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God."  Those tribulations make up the rough terrain of our life and are perfectly allowed by God.  We need to attack these rough sections with the mindset of finishing well and being greeted by our Lord and Savior.  Our trophy will be heaven, and at the finish line, we will be met by the race organizer who will say, "Good job, faithful servant - You've finished well!"

Hear me in this - we all face the rough sections.  Don't worry about encountering them because God has given us the spiritual suspension to face every bump we encounter.  Don't attempt to look for a smooth route when tempted - reach down and twist the throttle and hang on - you will be richly blessed.

STUDY QUESTION: What did Luke say to us in Acts 14:22 about our facing tribulations?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you willing to stay the course when it gets tough, or will you head to the beach?

APPLICATION: Seek the Lord for guidance to assure that you are on the proper path.  He will guide you even when you don't understand why (Prov. 3:5-6).

Father, thank You for guiding me through the tough times.  Thank You for shaping me through these times.  Help me to keep focused on the course ahead and not be distracted by the enemy's temptation to take an easier route on the beach.  In Jesus' precious name, amen...

Be blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000