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.
“A great cloud of witnesses” makes me think of those that have gone on before us: the examples of the Christian walk. Some of us might think of spiritual greats like Dr. Jerry Falwell, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., or Reverend Billy Graham who is still with us. My heart and mind immediately go to my grandparents, though.
My beloved grandparents faithfully drove me and countless others to church every Sunday and Wednesday, to every revival, teen night, and church camp. They faithfully prayed for my salvation and spoke His Word into my life. They pastored their own small church and were spiritual guides to many people. They truly walked out their Christian values in their daily lives. They were living breathing examples of marriage, sacrifice, and love. It brings me comfort to think that even though they are rejoicing in heaven together now, they are still surrounding me. No doubt, they are still praying for me and cheering me on in this thing called life.
We have a God that not only resides in heaven, but became a man, and literally experienced all the awfulness of sin. It is unfathomable to think that He underwent the struggles we each face, BUT HE WAS VICTORIOUS! We have a God who knows what it is like to fight against sin and hardships. This means He can identify with the daily struggles of sin. He can relate to us, even when we are at our lowest.
“Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” We are called to take an active role in what God has planned for our lives. This may not always be easy. Just like running a race, we may be ahead or behind at different points of our lives. Be encouraged that if we keep our eyes turned towards Him, the reward will be ours. Do not look back even if you stumble. Look ahead towards Him and He will direct our paths.
I found this quote online and it seemed fitting for this verse. “It’s not how you start. It’s how you finish. Finish strong.” –Dan Green