Running with Endurance, Part 2
“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2
Last week we addressed how we as Christians have been empowered of the Lord to run the race of life with “patient endurance.” “Why?” You may ask. Because life is filled with afflictions, adversities, and obstacles! And, if we take our eyes off Jesus, like a runner in the Olympic games who takes his eye off the goal of completing the race and crossing the finish line, we will live a life void of God’s best and God’s blessings not only for our lives, but as a witness for Christ in the lives of others. So, what does the writer to the Hebrews record that not only tells us how to run with patient endurance the race set before us, but to also run with joy and confidence knowing we can cross the line and win the prize of the high calling in Christ?
First, we remember the cloud of witnesses who ran the race with patient endurance before us. I often think of my paternal Christian grandfather whose witness for Christ still encourages me. Second, we lay aside those things that weigh us down, like discouragement and fear. We lay them down at the foot of the cross. Thirdly, we lay aside the sin of “unbelief” that so easily encircles our feet. We say for example, “Fear, you have no control over my life, I’m putting my trust in Christ and Christ alone!” Fourthly, we fix our eyes on Jesus and remember He ran the race all the way to the cross out of His love for you and me! And fourthly, we take great comfort in the God’s word which promises the believer that he/she has a heavenly reward awaiting all those who belong to Christ (See 1 Corinthians 9:24-25, 2 Timothy 4:7-8, and James 1:12).
So, Run the Race and Keep Your Eyes on Jesus!