Running with Endurance, Part 1
“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance (weight) and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…”
Hebrews 12:1, New American Standard Bible
The Bible tells us that Christians have been born again of God through the work of Christ upon the cross and via of the work of the Holy Spirit in-order-to live the victorious life upon this earth prior to Jesus’ return. That doesn’t mean living the Christian life will be easy. On the contrary, the writer to the Book of Hebrews lived at a time when Christians were being incarcerated or having their property and possessions seized by the authorities because of their stand for Christ.
These Christians needed something in order live their lives daily in the power and in the victory of God. What was it? What did they possess from the Lord that enabled them to run the race of life and cross the finish line as they trusted in Him? They needed endurance! This word translated endurance in the NASB, literally means, “patient endurance.” How is that achieved, spiritually?
First, as Christians we must remember that we have been preceded by a great cloud of witnesses. Real folks just like you and me, who have gone before us. When the writer of Hebrews refers to the great cloud of witnesses, he’s making a reference to the Heroes of Faith listed in Hebrews Eleven. Who patterned enduring faith during a difficult time in their lives whose example still lives on for you; encouraging your walk with the Lord, today? Next, the writer to the Hebrews says that we must daily “put off” those bulky things that weigh us down; that get in our way and keep our eyes off Jesus and crossing the finish line! Does anxiety, fear, a quick-tempered response when things don’t go your way, or discouragement have you constantly looking down at your feet instead of the race that is set before you? Thirdly, “the sin that so easily entangles us as Christians is willful unbelief, (See Hebrews Four). The writer tells us that it was unbelief that kept the original generation of Hebrews from entering the Promised Land with-the-exception of Joshua and Caleb. Invite God in prayer to enable you to run with endurance today! He will! Pastor Louie