Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.
Have you ever watched a marathon race? The runners start with enthusiasm and energy, but as the miles go by, they face fatigue, pain, and temptation to quit. Some drop out, some slow down, and some keep going until they reach the finish line.
The Christian life is like a race, but not a sprint. It’s a long-distance run that requires endurance, discipline, and focus. We are not competing against each other, but against the obstacles and challenges that try to stop us from following God’s will. We are also not running alone, but with the support and encouragement of a great cloud of witnesses – the heroes of faith who have gone before us and who cheer us on from heaven.
The writer of Hebrews tells us how to run this race successfully.
First, we need to throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. These are the things that weigh us down, distract us, or trip us up. They could be bad habits, wrong attitudes, unhealthy relationships, worldly values, or anything else that keeps us from loving God and others. We need to confess, repent, and get rid of them, with God’s help.
Second, we need to run with perseverance the race marked out for us. This means we need to keep going, even when we face difficulties, trials, or opposition. We need to trust God’s plan and purpose for our lives, and not give up or give in to discouragement. We need to remember that God is faithful and He will finish what He started in us.
Third, we need to fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. He is the ultimate example and source of our faith. He ran the race before us, and He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. He did this for the joy set before Him – the joy of saving us and bringing us to God. He is now our advocate, our intercessor, and our reward. He is the one who gives us strength, grace, and hope to run the race.
Let us run the race with Jesus, for Jesus, and to Jesus. He is the author and finisher of our faith. He is the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end. He is the one who calls us, guides us, and welcomes us home.
Pray: Lord Jesus, thank You for running the race for me and with me. Help me to throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. Help me to run with perseverance the race marked out for me. Help me to fix my eyes on You, the pioneer and perfecter of my faith. Amen.