Heb 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which does so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Heb 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
The book of Hebrews is an interesting book which has no author assigned, but the writing style is that of the Apostle Paul. It is truly an epistle worth reading! In thirteen chapters it speaks about the supremacy of Jesus Christ, it warns us about neglecting our salvation, how Jesus Christ was greater than Moses, the importance of faith, those that overcame through their faith, and that Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith!
In Heb 12:1, The writer says that since we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, we are encouraged to lay aside every weight, and the sin which does so easily beset us, and to run with patience the race that is set before us. In other words, there are many saints who came before us and they overcame and stayed focused through their faith in God, and although they were persecuted in their faith they did not give up.
The writer also says the Christian journey and relationship with Christ in this world is like a race, in which we should keep running with patience. I don’t know if any of you have ever ran track and field, or watched it on television. But in a track race there is a starting line and a finish line, and there are many runners (people) who are running in the race. At the end of the race, there are some that come in first, second or third place.
Well in this Christian journey called life, we are all in this race and it doesn’t matter if you come in first, second or third. God wants you to finish the race. Which means you can’t give up, you can throw in the towel, and you shouldn’t quit. It doesn’t matter to the LORD what place you come in, just don’t stop running!
After the Apostle Paul did all he could in service for the Kingdom of God through three missionary journeys, establishing churches and writing many of the New Testament books to the church, he said in 2 Tim 4:7-8, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”
So Paul understood that since he completed the journey, course, or race, there would be a reward from the LORD! This should encourage us all, that no matter what happens in the world around us, we must fight the good fight of faith, and we must finish the course or race! In a track and field race, the first, second and third place winners get the award! In this Christian course, we will all get a reward o crown, if we stay focused and finish the course or race.
So Hebrews 12:1 encourages us to lay aside anything that would keep us from finishing the race! So the question is how do we do it? Well, Hebrews 12:2 says it all. “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
So the way we set ourselves up to finish the race is to stay focused and looking unto Jesus. In other words, when we run, keep looking at the finish line and keep looking ahead. Good runners understand this. They don’t look at people, and they don’t look what is going on around them. In the same way, you should keep looking unto Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith!
I know there are things going on all around us in our lives, the world, our churches, in our communities, and it can be discouraging! But we need to be like the Psalmist who said, “I will look to the hills where my help comes from.” (Psalm 121:1) In other words, I have to keep my head to the sky, and say like Paul in Heb 12:2, “I am looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
In other words, our victory will come through the author and finisher of our faith, Jesus Christ. Today, stay focused and know that despite the bad news all around us, that we must stay focused in this journey of life so that we can reach the finish line in Jesus Name!
God bless, Pastor Quinn