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. (2) Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (3) For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. (Hebrews 12:1-3 KJV)
Life can be challenging. It is filled with ups and downs, accomplishments and disappointments. It’s in those times of disappointments when we’re most likely to want to give up and throw in the towel. It’s when life hasn’t panned out in the way that we hoped and prayed that we question not only ourselves, but also God who directs our steps. Has God ever shown you a vision of your life? Or has he ever planted a dream deep down in your heart that you knew had to come from no one but him? It can be exciting and humbling when God reveals part of his plans for our lives. It’s encouraging and we become inspired. Until time has passed and we feel as though we’re doing our end of the bargain and it seems though God has forgotten all about us and we wonder if the promises was ever real in the first place. Or was it something that we conjured up ourselves. The apostle Paul tells us Wherefore which means as a result of which. Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so a great cloud of witnesses. Who are these witnesses you may be asking? It’s those who came before us. Those like Abraham who had to wait 25 years for the promise to come to pass. Its king David who was anointed as a teen to become king but didn’t see the throne for some 15 years. It’s Joseph who as a youth had a dream that would take him places but he wouldn’t become second in command for another 12 or 13 years. Paul reminds us of these great cloud of witnesses plus many others to encourage us in the times of disappointments and discouragements. Abraham, David and Joseph each had one thing in common. They each had to wait years for the promise to come to pass. It was a point in each of there lives, where truthfully they could have given up. The thing is though they didn’t trust in their circumstances but rather in a God who is faithful to do what he promised. (read Hebrews 10:23)
let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.
Paul also encourages us to lay aside every weight and sin that can easily get us off track and off focus. He reminds us of the great cloud of witnesses who ran their race before us to encourage us, but he also reminds us that there is something that we must do as well. That’s to lay aside every weight and sin. One of the meanings of lay aside is to put to the side a feeling or belief for example sometimes we may feel as though God will not fulfill the promises in our life. In Numbers 23:19 it says that God is not a man that he shall lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? Paul is letting us know that we should lay aside those feelings of negativity. One thing that I’m learning in my walk with God is that the negative feelings and discouragement will come and we can choose to believe in what we see. Or we can choose to believe not only in God but his promises over our lives as well. To lay aside also means put something aside and not use it or think about it. We are not just to lay aside our feelings but also our sins those things that we feel keeps us from God. We must lay aside every weight and sin that so easily beset us. When something besets us it troubles us it’s a problem or difficulty that we may find ourselves facing. We are to lay them aside. There will always be something in our lives that will be contradictory to the word of God. There’s also going to be things that easily troubles us we can’t stop the feelings from coming but we can control how long it lingers.
Paul tells us that we are to run with patience the race that is before us. The thing about a race is that when we generally think of placing or winning. When I say placing I mean we’re most likely to enter a race or competition so that we may come in first place or second even third place. We take pride in placing especially when we’re up against many opponents. When someone enters a race of any kind they enter in to win. Paul says something that is weird. He says run with patience. Personally when I think of running a race patience is the last word to come to mind. The race that Paul is referring to isn’t a typical race. There’s no first or last place that’s the reason we can run it with patience. Our race is the lot that God has already predestined for us, we’re to go through this thing with patience. It’s not a competition with the person next to us. They have their own race. We are to concentrate on the race that is before us. In other words we are to concentrate on the life that God has given us, not looking to the right or the left at what the next person is doing. ( I admit I have that problem bad). We’re not suppose to focus on somebody else’s journey we all have one. The thing about this race is that we won’t reach the finish line until we cross over to the other side. This race is our life! God set a plan for our life and it is set before us. The thing about something being before us it is that it is something that we have not reached or have yet obtained but it is obtainable.
Looking to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.
In the times that we do become discouraged in what we see that were to look to Jesus. The scripture says that he is the author and finisher of our faith. An author is a writer of. So since Jesus is the writer of our faith. We can look to him in those times of discouragement and disappointments. We can look to him when we want to give up and quit. He is not only the author of our faith but he also finishes our faith. We can look to him to see what our end is going to be. Run with patience this race that is set before you. I’m going to leave you with this scripture.
I have fought a good fight, and I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. (2 Timothy 4:7)
Run your race, fight the good fight and finish your course and do it all keeping the faith.