Surrounded by Witnesses

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 perfecter 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. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Hebrews 12:1-3

 

The eleventh chapter of Hebrews is the hall of fame of the Bible.

Men and women of faith are commended for walking by faith and not by sight: All of these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed then from a distance. (v.13) Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. (v.1) We are surrounded by all the men and women of faith that went before us, and this gives us motivation and hope to keep the faith. The writer of Hebrews understands that we must remove anything that hinders us if we are to run the race as the men and women of faith did: Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles… (v.1)

What keeps you from running the race with perseverance? If there are sins, hurts, resentments, lost hope, or anything at all, your race will slow down. If you are to fix your eyes on Jesus (v.2), the hindrances and blocks must be removed. The Christian life is pictured as a long-distance race rather than a sprint, and in order to get to the finish line, those obstacles must be removed. Are you carrying the burden of unforgiveness or the bitterness of a broken relationship?

Fix your eyes on Jesus who perfects your faith and who realized the joy of the cross in the power that it had to break the chains of sin and heal the wounds of life. Consider that He endured opposition from sinful men so that you will not grow weary or lose heart.

Heavenly Father,

I pray that You will remove the chains that have hindered me in the race You have marked out for me. Help me to run the race with endurance and not grow weary or lose heart.

In Jesus’ name, Amen

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