Today during church, our pastor spoke about "getting in the game." Unfortunately, I was out feeding Jeremiah during the sermon, but Daniel took notes for me and shared it with me, and I really appreciated the analogy our pastor made. He spoke from Hebrews 12:1-2.
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. "
He talked about how many Christians, though they are on the team, sit on the sidelines and don't actually "play the game." He stressed that Christianity is not a spectator sport. As long as we're not involved, satan isn't threatened by us, but as soon as we involve ourselves, we are a threat. He describes the "great cloud of witnesses" like a hall of fame, where we learn and grow from the lives they lived for Christ. We need to "run with perseverance" without the weight of sin. It is a marathon and our goal is to finish well. In order to do this we need to "fix our eyes on Jesus," and look ahead towards our goal, not behind us as we run. Finally, we need to realize that though we will face trials and pain in our life, it is only temporary, and the hope of Heaven gives us joy. (This is the part I came back in for) Just as Jesus had joy in spite of the pain of the cross, and woman who are in labor suffer pain, but then such joy from having the child, our earthly pain in temporal, and our joy is everlasting!