The Apostle Paul faced setbacks. He faced some of the greatest difficulties in recorded Christian history. Yet he did not turn away and make excuses for those troubles. He simply said he would forget what was behind him and press forward!
There is a lot of truth to the playground chant: “Winners never quit and quitters never win.” But though winners don’t quit, that doesn’t mean they don’t change. Quitting is not an option, but change is always a part of the winner’s life. The good news is anyone who is willing to change can develop the winning attitude.
Hebrews 12:1-2 gives very important insight how: “Surrounded then as we are by these serried ranks of witnesses, let us strip off everything that hinders us, as well as the sin which dogs our feet, and let us run the race we have to run with patience, our eyes fixed on Jesus the source and goal of our faith (J.B. Phillips).
Notice we must deal with two things: the things which must be stripped away as well as the sins which weigh us down. The change that is so important is to find and strip off the things hindering us from moving forward. Things that may not be sins are often tolerated by Christians who ignore the fact that those things hinder them in running the race and winning.
Too many times old habits hinder the new attitudes of God’s victories from being established. We have to strip off the things that are working to extinguish our faith and develop new habits that will enhance it.
We must develop new habits concerning our thinking, meditating, acting, responding, and making decisions. Choosing to change these habit patterns will put us on the path to new power.
The way we think can be an advantage or a stumbling block in our path. If we continue to think the thoughts of failure, defeat and weakness, we will fall flat on our faces. But the new attitude within us can create a new pattern of thinking. Thoughts of love, success, peace and strength will start to dominate us. Then our thoughts will be in agreement with God’s thoughts.
Soon we will no longer see barriers and obstacles as limitations but as opportunities. We will see that any barrier can be broken. Any obstacle can be overcome. Paul said, “Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Corinthians 12:9b NKJV).
Like Paul, we can adopt an attitude that the weakness we face does not limit our abilities. The presence of God within us will empower us to break every barrier and overcome every obstacle.