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Finish Strong
6/26/2012

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. James 1:2-4 (NKJV)

I participated in a motorcycle off-road dual sport event this last weekend up in Big Bear California.  The club hosting the event had a variation of routes to ride, from an easy stroll on Jeep trails through the forest, to a challenging run of about 200 miles through terrain so tough that it would probably make a mountain goat puke. The challenging ride is renowned for its difficulty as only a small percentage of riders are able to complete it each year.  For those who do there is a very nice plaque given as an award.

My ride started out really good, but about 50 miles into it I was in the dust of some riders I misread my roll chart and mistakenly followed what is known as a “Bailout” route, which leads back to the start.  Before I realized my mistake I had went 20 miles off my intended course.  Determined to finish I refueled in town and headed back out into the hills to where I had left the course and I continued my ride.  Shortly after, I begin to experience a problem with the way my bike was running, as the engine would stumble when I gave it gas.  I stopped and checked everything I could think of, but it continued to run poorly.  I contemplated quitting at this point; it would have been easy to do, but I had committed to finishing, so I continued to soldier on. 

A few miles down the trail I was climbing this massive hill and my bike sputtered in the rocks.  I found myself going over the bars and as I hit the ground I broke off my clutch lever. So there I was on a side of the mountain attempting to navigate a million tons of rock strewn about; my bike was broken and the temperature was rising by the minute.  I found myself justifying how it would be okay to simply call it a day—after all, who could blame me.  I actually began talking to the Lord; asking Him, “Lord, do You want me to finish this ride?”

Now, it was at this point when a fellow rider just so happened to stop by, and it just so happened he had a spare lever to give me.  I prayed for the Lord to reveal what was going on with the engine of my bike, and immediately the thought came into my mind of “vapor locking.”  I looked down and instantly detected a vent-line being pinched, which was causing my bike to vapor lock.  I rerouted the line and gave the bike a swift kick and it fired up.  I could clearly feel God’s presence and peace throughout these series of tests.  I knew I was to press on and to endure to the finish at this point. 

Therefore we also, 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, Hebrews 12:1 (NKJV)

I realize God is teaching us great lessons throughout our lives.  On this day He was showing me there are many things that will bring about trials in my life, and there might be times when I feel like bailing out and taking the easier route, or even quitting all together.  He was showing me how He was in control, and He was showing me how He would be there to supply all my needs abundantly in His perfect timing.  He was also showing me I had to experience coming to the end of myself before I would really have a greater appreciation for Him.   

Hey, maybe you won’t ever find yourself broken down upon the side of a mountain, but you just might come to a point when you feel like quitting on a relationship, or something else you find yourself struggling with.   I want to encourage you to trust God in the midst of the storm, because there is something He is trying to teach us during these times.   

STUDY QUESTION: According to James 1:2-4 what does the testing of our faith produce?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you willing to trust God in the midst of your trials, even when what you are facing is tempting you to become anxious, fearful, or weary?

APPLICATION: Let’s decide today to trust in the Lord with all of our heart, and no longer lean upon our own understanding.

Let’s pray…

Father, thank You for allowing us to go through various trials and tests.  Thank You for giving us Your promise to never leave us, nor forsake us.  Help us to remember these promises when we are tempted by the enemy to bail out.  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