‘Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,’ — Hebrews 12:1
Running is not something that I enjoy. I remember training for basketball and hating the initial conditioning our coach would put us through to get us fit for regular practice and regular season. When it comes to running, there are various types – sprints, interval, cross-country, marathons, etc.
In Hebrews 12, long-distance running is in view. We are told to ‘run with patience the race that is set before us’. Our life is like a race that we must run and keep on running. In order to finish, we must have patient endurance, and we must lay aside every weight and the sin which doeth easily best us. Many have suggested that ‘the sin’ that often hinders us from running with patience is unbelief since the chapter immediately before is all about faith.
So, how do we run with patience?
- We lay aside all unbelief and doubt that holds us back (v.1).
- We keep our eyes on Jesus, considering all he has gone through (v.2-3).
- We maintain the perspective that we have not suffered as much as others have (v.4).
- We realise that chastening from the Lord is for our good and our growth as His children (v.5-11).
- We encourage ourselves in the grace of God (v.12-17).
- We remember that the inheritance we have in Christ’s kingdom is far greater than even the awesome revelation at Mount Sinai (v.18-29).
The prize that God has set before us is far greater than anything this world offers. Let us keep our focus on the kingdom that Christ is going to set up one day. And let us run with patience the race that is set before us. Let us keep on going and not get discouraged or distracted.