12 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, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
The author of Hebrews has just been writing about the “heroes” of the faith and their faith journeys – some had great moments and some had not-so-great moments. This mix of people have passed into heaven and have become the “great cloud of witnesses”. The author encouraged first century Christians to persevere in faith just as the great crowd of witnesses had.
This encourages me about my faith journey. I am reminded that I am not alone, especially in those times when I feel uncertain or discouraged. Those who have gone on before me have experienced the ups and downs of the journey yet they persevered. Just like them, I know I can persevere too.
What enables me to persevere? Casting off that which weighs me down or hinders me. Things like being discouraged, distracted or disabled by the enemy. Things like shame, intimidation, unbelief or feelings of unworthiness. I don’t have to carry these along my journey. Instead, if I persevere in casting them off, I can run my race.
Father, I thank you that I am not alone in my faith journey, and even with its ups and downs, my faith is real. I thank you Lord Jesus that you show me how I can live – free from stuff that holds me back. I will keep my eyes fixed on You.
Written by Gab Martin