“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2
The author of Hebrews has just finished that great section of people of faith in chapter 11. These are that great cloud of witnesses. Those who have gone before us and who have kept the faith. The message is to encourage those who are suffering for their faith. Those who may be struggling with persecution or sin or any number of things. Let us lay aside every weight and sin which clings so closely and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. Pressing on is important, but it is also very difficult for us to do at times.
This week I have been trying to be more diligent in my running (I say running, but the reality is, my jogging is slower than some people’s walking). I’m not out to break any land speed records as a 52 year old man. I’m simply trying to get back on track and to focus more on what I was able to do last summer. Yet, it is hard. I have enjoyed the weather being warmer, so that helps to motivate me to get out of the house. But as my body screams, ‘why are you treating me this way?’ I have to keep putting one foot in front of the other. I’m simply trying to take one day after the next and seeking to improve my health.
Pressing on in our faith is difficult at times. It does involve a lot of simply getting out of bed and doing the things that God has for us to do in that day. Maybe it’s hard to get out of bed. Maybe sleep is fleeting. Maybe work is difficult. How do I find time to pray? Or to read my Bible? Or interact with others? There is a lot to be said for the simple mundane everyday life. At times we long for excitement and adventure. But faithfulness is found in loving others, getting to work on time, eating better, being a friend, reading a book, enjoying a sunset.
A lot of living is done simply by getting up, reading our Bibles, praying, going to work at the vocation that God has for me at this time, coming home, enjoying those around me, going to bed, taking time for worship, and repeat. Faithfulness is seeking consistency in our faith even when it is hard. Faithfulness is standing for the truths of God’s Word when the Word says, ‘no thank you.’ Faithfulness is often found in simply placing one foot in front of the other.
I encourage you this day to just keep walking. Place one foot in front of the other. Run the race that is set out for YOU! Press on for the glory of God!
“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:12-14