Reading passage: Hebrew 11:1-12:1
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. Heb 12:1 NIV
Imagine you are assigned to run a lengthy race with lots of hurdles in between. Looking at the target that seems so unattainable, you fear you would never make it. Here comes somebody who encourages you. He reminds you that you are not a pioneer. Many have already finished the race faithfully. He urges you to look at the gallery where those pioneers are seated and watching you run. The author of Hebrews is that kind of an encourager.
In the previous chapter, he was describing the lives of those saints. He starts with Abel, goes through Noah, Abraham and David and does not finish the list because they are numerous. And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets. Heb 11:32. NIV. Enduring sufferings, despising and shame, they all stood for God. They ran a good race and fought a good fight. Their stories are written in the Bible for our encouragement. The author not only tells their stories, but also tells us that they are watching our race with much eagerness to see our victory. They are on the gallery. When we are weary, they rise up and encourage us with their testimony. When we think we are alone and there is nobody on God’s side, Elijah would stand up and tell us his story of being taught by God about God’s remnant. When we think the problems are like mountains before us, Joshua would rise up and describe the fall of the Jericho fort. Nehemiah would say about the building of the wall while Daniel would describe his night at the lion’s den.
Prayer: Lord I thank you for the cloud of witnesses, of the Bible times and also of this age, who encourages me in running the race. I understand, the target is not unattainable, even though it is not easy. Help me to run my race faithfully. AMEN
For further reading: Rom.4:18-25; 2Cor. 5:6-10.