Nothing can compare
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up. Hebrews 12:1-3 NLT
The writer of Hebrews has been providing encouragement to a group of believers so they can persevere in the midst of the difficulties they are facing due to persecution. The writer reminds the readers that there were believers in the past that have gone through what they are going through in life who did not falter in their faith. Then, he provided them instructions as to how the believers in the past persevered. First, he told them that they “strip off every weight that slows” them down. These are “the sin that so easily trips us up.” This sin is what most likely we commit because of its appeal to us. This is what easily trips us up so we are admonished to be decisive in addressing this sin for if ignored, it will affect our walk with God. Let us not forget, it takes only one sin that can disrupt our effectiveness in running the race. Second, they run the course set for them with endurance. We can finish well the race set for us because God is with us to guide us and provide us strength. Third, they set their focus on Jesus, “the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.” We must follow His example of complete dependence unto the Father. This is what kept Jesus strong in the midst of the mocking, desertion, rejection, torture, and crucifixion. Let us follow His example of endurance by setting our minds, just like Him, “of the joy awaiting him.” We, too, can experience the joy of what awaits us in the future for what we are going through in life right now is nothing compared to what God is preparing for us when we see Him in glory. “For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! 18 So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18).