Is Something Weighing You Down?
I remember as a young girl placing weights on my ankles. I tried running, but soon my run became a walk. After 45 minutes or so, I took the weights off. I was amazed at how light I felt on my feet. I felt like I could run for miles. Now, I certainly was not running a real race that day. This was only practice. For the real race, I wanted to dress as light as possible so that I could finish my race quicker than my competitors.
The writer of Hebrews uses this analogy to encourage us in the race of life. This race is not a practice run; it is the real thing. We get one chance to run our race well. No, we don’t compete in this race, but we do run to receive an incorruptible crown; a crown without end (1 Cor. 9:25). We are instructed by God to “lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily (with little discomfort) beset(derail) us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us” (Heb. 12:1). Notice, the child of God is commanded to lay aside weights and sins. That means we can. Romans 6:14 says, “For sin shall not have dominion over you…” We must repent of sin (1 Jn. 1:9); and with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can choose not to sin. Sin is anything that opposes God’s Word, which includes disobedience to the Lord’s leading. We often consider sin as stealing, killing, lying, cheating, and etc., but sin is so much more. We don’t like to consider worry, anxiety, fear, and depression as sin, but it is. We read in Philippians 4:6, "Be careful (worried or anxious or fretful) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Now, I realize that some anxiety and depression may stem from chemical imbalances; but I believe more than that, Christians are believing their problems, circumstances, and satan’s lies more than they believe God’s promises, which often cause negative feelings. “…for whatsoever is not of faith (a confidence in God and His Word) is sin" (Rom. 14:23). We need to repent of worry, anxiety, fear, and depression and begin declaring God’s promises until we believe God rather than our circumstances.
“Charlotte, you just don’t understand. I feel worry, anxiety, fear, and/or depression. I can’t help it. You just don’t know what I’m going through. Am I just supposed to act like everything is great when it isn’t?” I’m sure I can’t fully understand what a lot of people are going through, but God does. I also know that tough times are not great, but I know Someone Who is greater than the tough times. And yes, you can help with God’s help in not worrying, being anxious, fearful, and/or depressed. God commanded us not to do these things in Philippians 4. God would be unjust to command us to not worry “if we couldn’t help it.” But, He is not unjust. If I need faith to combat these “weights and sins,” I must be declaring God’s promises concerning my circumstances out loud over and over (Rom.10:17). This will cause faith to arise in our hearts, making this race of life much more rewarding. (cont.)