Training for a marathon has its own mental challenges. It not only requires physical strength, but mental strength. Throughout my training, I have found that the longer the distance, your mental toughness really starts to be tested. Your mind will tell you to stop way before your legs have come to the end of your goal. It is like a little training devil whispers into your ear saying, “You know that if you stop running, the discomfort will stop too.” It is important to not give into self-doubt and discomfort. Instead, remember all the training that you have done and how far you have come. You have to train your mind to turn the encouragement to quit into encouragement to press on.
Paul urged Timothy to train his mind, soul and spirit for the purpose of godliness. Timothy was to be a dedicated “Christian athlete” never ceasing to do what it took to train his inner man for godliness. 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind!”
We need to forget those things which hinder us as we run the race. Whenever you are in doubt, it’s good to remember God’s past mercies, including how He forgave our sins, healed us, sustained us, and blessed us. Having these thoughts will help us become more thankful and, too, press on in the race.
John Monsell wrote a Hymnal titled “Fight the Good Fight With All Thy Might,” which sings, “Run the straight race through God’s grace, lift up thine eyes and seek His face; life with its way before us lies, Christ is the path and Christ the prize.”