By: Greg Mohr
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 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 has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.Hebrews 12:1–2, New King James Version
Each of us has a race to run in life. We have been given gifts and a unique calling from God that equips us and qualify us to finish our race strong. Far too many people start strong but finish poorly, like the hare in the story of The Tortoise and the Hare. I want to finish strong and run my race to win! Not for my glory, but to bring glory to God and bring multitudes into the kingdom.
Whether or not we finish our race strong will affect the eternal destiny of many. We must run our race, finish strong, and run to win. The stakes are eternal! In this brief passage of Scripture, the writer of Hebrews gives us a number of essential keys to finishing our race strong.
First, he said to run with the awareness of the great cloud of witnesses who have finished their race and gone on before us. We want to build on what they accomplished and make them proud. We don’t want to disappoint them. The fact he calls them witnesses infers they are either spectators of some aspect of our race or at least informed in some way about our spiritual progress.
Second, we need to identify and avoid the weights and besetting sins that hinder our race. Not everything that hinders us in running a strong race is sin. Sometimes they are things that are just time wasters or that keep our attention focused on things besides the Lord, winning the lost, making disciples, and fulfilling our calling.
Third, we need to realize our race is a marathon and not a sprint. We must develop consistency and endurance and refuse to yield to the temptation to give up when it looks like we are behind or losing the race. The best way to do this is to look to Jesus instead of comparing ourselves with others on the track. Jesus is our example.
As we keep our eyes on Him, we receive an eternal perspective on our race that will help us go the distance.
Jesus was able to finish because of the joy He kept before Him. He kept His eyes on the promise from the Father of you and me becoming sons of God. Jesus did that and finished His race. Since He did that for us, surely we can finish our race strong to win many more for Christ. Multitudes of souls are at stake!