HEBREWS 12:1-2: “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
OBSERVATIONS: Have you ever thought – “It’s just too hard! I’ll never make it!” All of us have had these feelings at different times during our lives. We feel that we are at the point of breaking and cannot handle one more thing. Yet, this is never true as it relates to our walk of faith. The reality of our walk of faith is – “You can make it!”
The writer of Hebrews in chapter 11 gives us a brief historical overview of all the great men and women of faith in the Bible. It does not simply include those who experienced the miraculous, it also includes those who suffered hardship, even death for their faith. Yet, in all of their lives one thing was constant – they all received a good report based on their faith. In other words – they did not give up! They all made it! Now the writer of Hebrews exhorts us – “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses…” He calls us to look at the lives of these faithful and draw courage. If they made it – so can we!
This new found courage is expressed in both action and focus. Our action is to be proactive against all the things in life that weigh us down, that try to discourage us, that try to get us to give up. They are explained as weights, sin, and ensnarements. They are anything that tries to trip us up, slow us down, and rob us of our confidence in Christ. We need to throw these overboard. They are not worth holding onto. There is a race to be run. There is a race to be won!
We are also called to a new focus. In every race there is a finish line. It is the goal of every runner. The runner that keeps his eye on the finish line, runs with all his might, and does not get distracted – Wins! We are not focusing on “something”, we are focusing on “Someone”. Our focus is not upon man, as every man and woman we know, including ourselves, will let us down. We are focusing on the Lord Jesus Christ. He is both the author (starting line) and the finisher (finish line) of our faith (goal). His example of joyfully enduring the cross enables us to run to Him for strength to endure ours. Our suffering or the challenges in our life can never be compared to His sacrifice. And since He overcame – through Him we can too!
Lord, help me to realign my focus today. Help me to lay aside every weight, every sin, every entanglement. Let me be emboldened by those who have walked before me in faith, and focused on Jesus – the author and finisher of my faith! If God is for me – who can be against me! I CAN MAKE IT! In Jesus Name!