Extended reading: Hebrews 11
Devotional reading Hebrews 12:1-3
“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.”
Sadly, I don’t often think about Christian people from past generations, much less many generations ago, that have had the same unending battle with sin as I do. That is my first mistake. I also find that my struggle with sin, more often than not, revolves around the same sin, the one that “so easily entangles” me. And I know I’m not alone, each of you are in the same boat with me.
But this scripture reminds me of a great host of people throughout bible times that have struggled with sin, many and varied; people who suffered through difficult circumstances and by faith “fought the good fight” and persevered! This scripture says that others have done it, so can we, and that is encouraging for the battles I face daily in my walk of faith.
So, while I can look back in history and find others who have been where I am, and in most cases, struggled with things I will never have to, and have walked by faith, I am encouraged. BUT, even better, I can fix my eyes on Jesus the author and perfecter of faith!
Far greater than anyone, Jesus endured the cross and its shame, endured such hostility by sinners against Himself accomplishing not only our salvation, which is absolute, but ALSO our encouragement and strength to continue to walk by faith and not by sight! ”so that you may NOT grow weary and lose heart” (v.3).
What a precious reminder this is. No matter what afflictions we face, persecutions we suffer, or sin we constantly battle, we can fix our eyes on Jesus and find the strngth and encouragement we need to ”run with endurance the race that is set before us.”