Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2
I love the book of Hebrews, and I especially love this chapter, and the chapter before it. Their faithfulness is encouraging in Chapter 11. They are our cloud of witnesses. We don’t struggle alone and we are not the first to struggle with the problems we face. Others have run the race and won, and we can too! I picture them cheering us on, and then at times when that “thing” happens and we say, “can I get a witness?” they say, “uhhh-huhh”.
What things hinder your race? Because it says, “let us throw off” that means we can. We have it within us as the children of God to throw off and lay dead those things that hinder us from winning with Christ and those things that endanger our relationship with Christ. Drop the dead weight that slows you down, entangles you, and causes you to stop altogether.
Our race has been marked out for us. Why should that comfort you? It comforts me to know that I’m not out here in this marathon of life bumping along in the dark…..a plan marked out for me by Someone who continually tells me and confirms with me His awesome intentions to prosper me and bring me victory…..One who gave His life to make that happen!
It is because of Jesus that we can have faith in a future, and our faith endures and gets better because of Jesus.
Where should we fix our eyes as we persevere? On Jesus! Jesus set the example for us here. He knew the horror and shame of the cross and endured it anyway. Why? For you. For me. He kept His eye on the Prize. His finish line was ever before Him and it consisted of Him sitting at the right hand of the throne of God, and us there with Him! We’ll be in the very presence of God too! Hallelujah! This place isn’t our home either.
We aren’t a body with a soul……
…….We’re a soul with a body
In Matthew 14:22-23 we see Peter walking on water, and then sinking. We (including me) often talk about Peter’s lack of faith, but let’s look at the flip side. It took enormous faith for Peter to say, “Jesus, if it’s really you, tell me to come out there with you. I’d like to walk on the water too.”
I wonder, would you have had enough faith to step out of the boat onto the water?
Peter’s faith is strong as long as he focuses on Jesus. But when he gets out in the wind and waves, concentrating on Jesus is more difficult. Does your faith seem strong until trouble comes? Strong and fired up at the beginning, and then when struggles come….you dwindle? Perhaps you take your eyes off Jesus and start looking too intently at your situation too.