Staying the Course


“Stay the course,” an expression popularized by politicians, is thought to have its origin in nautical maneuvers. However, it can also be traced back to 19th-century horse racing, where it referred to a horse’s ability to remain on course to the finish line. In the New Testament, Paul expressed a similar thought as he taught on the importance of running the race of life with endurance.

  • What kinds of things can shake your faith and knock you off course?
  • How do you find endurance in your life and relationship with God?


48:1 After this, Joseph was told, “Behold, your father is ill.” So he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. And it was told to Jacob, “Your son Joseph has come to you.” Then Israel summoned his strength and sat up in bed. And Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me, and said to me, ‘Behold, I will make you fruitful and multiply you, and I will make of you a company of peoples and will give this land to your offspring after you for an everlasting possession.’ And now your two sons, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, are mine; Ephraim and Manasseh shall be mine, as Reuben and Simeon are. And the children that you fathered after them shall be yours. They shall be called by the name of their brothers in their inheritance. As for me, when I came from Paddan, to my sorrow Rachel died in the land of Canaan on the way, when there was still some distance to go to Ephrath, and I buried her there on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem).”

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


1.  What was the purpose of Jacob and Joseph’s meeting?

2.  How had Jacob received this blessing (vss. 3-4)? What were its two parts?

3.  Why was Jacob so confident that this promise would come to pass?

4.  How does your life demonstrate your faith in God’s promises? If you are not clear on his abundant promises for your life, commit to studying his Word to know them.


On his deathbed, Jacob still cherished and believed the promise, which God had first made to Abraham many years ago. The fact that it had not yet come to pass in his lifetime did not cause him to waiver in his walk with God. Jacob’s faith had grown as he had seen God sustain his people though many trials, including a devastating famine. Jacob’s confidence in God’s righteousness assured him that God would keep his promise, enabling him to stay the course and live each day as if every promise had already been fulfilled.

  • Knowing God and his attributes increases our faith in him. Ask God to increase your faith, so you may live each day confidently before him.