“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, 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. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
Ever noticed that the Christian faith is somewhat similar to an athlete running a race? Paul thought so. His illustration of faith as an endurance race can be found in many other places in Scripture, as well. Imagine a runner training, competing, and continuing to work towards winning the ultimate race set before him. He never gives up and always gets back up if he falls. But in our case, the race is not a competition or a performance; it’s our faith and life in action. In other words, real, authentic Christianity requires a person of conviction and growing faith. It’s a journey that lasts a lifetime.
Take a look at Hebrews 12:1-3 and notice a few keywords: witnesses, entangles, perseverance, the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes, endured, and weary, to name a few. There is clearly a training component needed to achieve this level of continuous faith through all of life’s ups and downs, and that comes from spending regular time with God in prayer and through studying His Word. In doing so, we learn more about WHO God is and His WILL for our lives. And if we let Him, God will transform our lives by teaching us the practice of trust and obedience which will spur us on in faith, no matter the obstacles or opportunities along the way.