“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
---End of Scripture verses---
Faith is an endurance race that does not pay off in the end unless we finish what we start. What a shame and pity it is to see a faithful brother or sister in Christ run the race with endurance for years and even decades only to abandon the course late in life and so very near to the finish line. The race, the course, the finish line, the prize is ever “set before us” so we must keep looking forward to the good things that lie ahead and not the worldly foolishness that we have left in the dust. We must cast aside “every encumbrance and the sin” that weighs us down and trips us up as we pace the path to perfection (verse 1).
All the heroes of faith mentioned in Hebrews chapter 11 are set as “a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us” and encouraging us to finish the race. They are figuratively “cheering from the grandstand” as we run the course, but their stellar examples are also figures of accountability holding us responsible to keep following in their footsteps. The greatest and perfect example is, of course, Jesus—“the author and perfecter of faith” (verse 2). He ran the race perfectly from start to finish, and unlike the heroes of chapter 11, He has actually “sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Please, if you ever just feel like giving up and cashing out, look to Jesus through the eyes of faith. “Consider Him who has endured” more “hostility,” grief, pain and fatigue than you could ever possibly encounter (verse 3). Consider Him whose grit and determination to endure the cross and finish the race had everything to do with His undying love for you. As a matter of fact, don’t just consider Him during the periods of pain and strife. Keep your eyes fixed on Him always—through the good times and bad. Eyes straight ahead. Locked on Jesus. Keep looking, reaching, pushing forward!
Please read Hebrews 12:4-11 for tomorrow.
Have a great day!
- Louie Taylor