I have been thoroughly captivated by Hebrews 12:1 over the last two weeks. It says….
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, 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.”
Note the words the Holy Spirit has been emphasizing to me…
“every encumbrance” — not sinful acts, although they could become sin if left unchecked…but those things (often good things) that weigh us down and hold us back from God’s best….the use of our time…certain relationships or activities that hinder our relationship with God rather than enhance.
“the sin” — We all know what outright sin is…and we’re usually careful to avoid outward ones, but what about our thought life? Thoughts that no one sees, except the only One who matters.
“so easily” — without difficulty.
“entangles” — This word in the Greek means “ambushes” or “encircles”.
“run…with endurance” — Merrian Websters defines endurance as, “the ability to withstand hardship or adversity; especially the ability to sustain a prolonged stressful effort or activity”…for example, a marathon runner’s endurance.
With all of this in mind, “let us not grow weary”, but “run with endurance” and “imitate those (particularly those in Hebrews 11, The Great Hall of Faith) who through FAITH and PATIENCE inherit what has been promised.” (Hebrews 6:12)
Henry Blackaby has some pearls of wisdom about “The Race of Faith” below….Read, and then RUN with it!
The Race of Faith
by Henry Blackaby
At times, living the Christian life can seem impossible, but a host of saints from throughout history provide powerful testimony to God’s faithfulness as well as to the wisdom of staying true to Him. People have faced every manner of persecution, opposition, tragedy, crisis, temptation, and disappointment, yet remained loyal to their Lord. You can do the same.
Scripture promises that God’s people will experience trials and tribulations, and life may be very difficult for you right now. You may feel alone, as if no one has ever dealt with what you are facing. Know, however, that many who have gone before you have faced similar pain and struggles.
One of the purposes of Scripture is to encourage us, and the examples of those who have gone before us do exactly that. The Bible provides concrete evidence that God strengthens, comforts, and guides His people during hard times. In its pages the lives of believers shout out, “God is faithful! Stay true to Him and you will experience His gift of abundant life.”
“Consider the outcome of their way of life,
and imitate their faith.”
~ Hebrews 13:7b