“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Galatians 6:7–9

The Christian life certainly has more in common with a long-distance endurance race than with a sprint when viewed through the lens of it being a life-long pursuit. Measured breathing, runner’s technique, body and mind conditioning are all important for a long-distance runner to prevail. The long-distance runner does not seem to care much about the hills and valleys nor is he distracted by the runner beside him. We used to call these races “endurance running,” and the athlete was an endurance runner.

But the Christian life does display similarities to the sprint. The sprinter is usually known for his explosiveness out of the block. His build is often different from the long distance runner because the sprinter needs every bit of his body producing the energy to catapult himself down the course. His thought is not to reserve strength for anything but the final kick before the finish line.

Our text challenges believers to “not grow weary while doing good.” This sounds like the distance runner. Then, the text challenges believers to “not lose heart.” This is the idea of losing intensity, and this sounds like both the distance runner and the sprinter. While runners run for the prize and rely on their personal well of strength, stamina, and resolve, Paul calls on believers to focus on God alone.

God will see to it that you will prevail in the sprints and endurance runs of life as you draw your strength from Him and follow the course He has laid out for you. Let us not grow weary nor faint away!

I wonder if Paul had Isaiah’s words in mind as he wrote. Isaiah 40:28–30 contrasts human weariness with God’s provisioning strength. “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary…. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall.” God never lacks for energy, stamina, resource, or will. He is the great Constant despite all else changing both around us and within. Isaiah’s carefully chosen words speak of the mighty men of Israel, the best of the best. Each one, in his turn will flag and fall in his own strength.

But notice Isaiah’s promising words in verses 29 and 31. “He gives power to the weak [weary]. And to those who have no might He increases strength…. But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah’s idea in the word “renew” is to exchange weariness for strength. Weariness comes from running the long race, being tired from labor and toil, even a labor of love! To wait upon the LORD is to wait upon the Source of all strength. He increases strength. He gives strength to the weary. The believer is called upon to wait by hoping, longing, and in belief, trusting only in God’s sovereign love and providential care.

Many Scriptures corroborate Isaiah’s assertion. In Deuteronomy 33:25 our Lord promises, “…as your days, so shall your strength be.” Psalm 42:3 echoes back, “For You are the God of my strength…” Psalm 121:1f says, “I will lift up my eyes to the hills—from whence comes my help? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.”

More promises of strength to endure the race are found in the New Testament. Philippians 4:13 declares, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” 1 Peter 4:19 reminds us, “Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.”

Paul personally experienced God’s sufficiency in trying circumstances. He leaves us this testimony from 2 Corinthians 12:9f, “And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” Paul already knew God’s promise he recorded in Philippians 1:6, “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” What God has begun He will not faint in completing. And so, neither should we faint in serving Him.

The author of Hebrews tells us that God is not unfeeling toward our needs. Verse 4:14ff says, “Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in the time of need.” Do not lose heart! God’s promises are yours today. Trust and obey.