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Running the Race

Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, 2 keeping our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. For the joy that lay before him, he endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2)


“Therefore,” in light of the last chapter’s many examples of believers enduring by faith in God, “a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us,” the author challenges their readers to persevere in their lives for the glory of God. This type of life is compared to a marathon race. Within this theme, in order to not be exhausted and weighed down, the author includes themselves with their readers, “let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us.” Any thought, habit, or mindset that may interfere with their Christian walk are to be removed. Sin can easily enter the life of the believer and begin to create deep roots like a weed. Therefore, believers are to be aware of this and resist. As it says in verse 1, “run with endurance the race that lies before us.” Endurance, stamina, consistency is necessary to continue and finish the race. And the route of the race is set by God. He knows every twist and turn, uphill and descent. Therefore, believers are to faithfully trust in His guidance and follow the path that He designed.


What keeps the believer motivated to finish? “Keeping our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.” Believers are to solely focus on Jesus and His Word, faithfully obeying Him as other believers have had in the past and finished their races. Not only that, but Christ Himself is a perfect example of faithfully finishing the race. “For the joy that lay before Him, He endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” At Westside, we have been going through the book of John, and are now in the portion of Jesus’ arrest, trials, beatings and are shortly coming to His crucifixion. Christ suffered terrible physical, emotional, and spiritual battles, and yet, He persevered for the “joy,” the defeat of sin and death so that all of His people can have the opportunity to be restored in relationship with Him. At the end of this race, after He had died, resurrected and ascended, Jesus now sits at the right hand of God, being exulted by both the angels and the saints who faithfully finished their races.


If you are a believer, you are called to faithfully endure the race that God has set out for you. In moments of discouragement, let the testimonies of past believers motivate you to persevere as they had, faithfully trusting in God. Follow Jesus’ example of faithfulness and perseverance, who suffered and died for our sake, faithfully finishing the race that the Father laid out for Him on earth.


Blessings,

Isaac De Guzman

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