Spiritual Exercise #3 for the new year is: Run the race of faith! (v. 1c) We need to get in the race! Every believer is to be in the race, not sitting on the sidelines. When the Scripture says to "run with perseverance"--this tells us it is not always going to be easy. The Christian life is not a sprint; it is a marathon.
The root of the word translated "race" is the word "agon" from which we get our word "agony." It signifies an athletic endeavor in which we will face the desire to quit, to throw in the towel because the going gets tough. The Christian life involves discipline--it can't be done on auto-pilot. We are either advancing or back-sliding. The Chrisitan race is NOT running in place!
"The race marked out for us" tells us we each have a specific race God intends for us to run. When things get tough (and they will!), remember that in running the marathon, Christ is with us every step of the way! Let us make every day count in the race HE has marked out for us!