❗️The race of faith ❗️
“ Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares you, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and the finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. “
– Hebrews 12:1-2
As a runner, I fully understand the necessity of endurance, as well as comfortability when running a race. I choose the thinnest running belt that holds only that which is necessary. I never understood how people could run a race with race packs on their backs filled with things which I thought to be unnecessary. I would be so distracted and frustrated with my backpack that I would probably be unable to complete my race within the time frame I was training towards.
Similarly, many believers try to run this race of faith with a weight on their backs that only holds them back, causes distraction and makes them frustrated. This weight being distractions of this world and sin which heavily weighs us down.
The author of Hebrews is exhorting us to lay aside every weight and sin so that we can run this race of faith with endurance.
Note how this race has already been ‘set out before us’. God has already set your race out before you. Therefore there would be no use in turning to the things of this world to try and finish this race, but rather to fix our eyes on the One who is the author and the finisher of our faith (or our race for that matter). We need to look to Christ as an example as to how to endure this race of faith.
Here, ‘finisher’ means that Christ has already done everything necessary for us to endure in faith. He is our example and model. He focused on the joy that was set before Him. His attention was not on the agonies of the Cross, but on the crown. Not in the suffering, but the reward.
So let’s run this race with dove eyes, focused on Jesus as an example on how to run this race of Faith, as well as focus on the eternal reward that awaits us. Let us endure the sufferings of the present day with a focus on the joy that awaits us in eternity. With a focus on these things, we will avoid getting distracted and sidetracked along with this race of faith and endure it faithfully until the day of Jesus Christ.