Strength To Endure

Therefore then, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us, Looking away {from all that will distract} to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:1-2, Amplified).


Have you ever had a moment on your journey toward wholeness where you just wanted to give up and call it quits?  Who haven’t?  When hardship and trials besiege us we can become discouraged; hang our heads and lose sight of our source of strength. 


This scripture reminds us that we are not alone nor are we the first to struggle with the problems we face. The great “cloud of witnesses” spoken of is composed of the people who have gone before as mentioned in Chapter 11.  Their faithfulness is a constant source of encouragement to us.  They ran the race set before them and won and their witness spurs us on to run and win also.


To live life effectively and to its fullest, we must be willing to give up everything that endangers our relationship with God.   And above all, we must keep our eyes focused on Jesus.  If we were to look away to stare at the surrounding circumstances, or ourselves, we would certainly stumble and fall.  But with Christ in view, we will gain the courage and strength needed to endure.