Hebrews 12:1-3Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

The author of Hebrews is writing to a group of Hebrew Christians to encourage them to endure in the Christian life. Many were becoming discouraged in the hostilities they were facing.

It is the same today, as we look around at the world we live in we too can become encouraged. Let’s remember, the Heroes of the Faith that is in the preceding chapter, Hebrews 11. They experienced worries, doubts, and fears just like we do. But, as we read their biographies we can see their entire life from beginning to end. God took care of them during their brief moments on earth and He will do the same for us.

We are in a race, it has been set before us. Jesus was in a race that was set before Him by God the Father. Let’s remember, Jesus left heaven and began a 33-year race on planet earth. He began this race to redeem man back to God. And, we are to do the same. Jesus perfectly completed what God the Father sent Him to do and He encourages and enables us to carry on the work that He started.

We have encouragement in this race because of the great cloud of witnesses surrounding us.

Think of your family members and friends who are now in heaven. Think of all the Old and New Testament saints. They are cheering us on as we read about them and remember them. The witness of their walk, and the witness of their wisdom still rings in our ears and minds.

We have an engagement in this race. The race is set before us. It’s not optional. The day you were born again, born from above, you were not put at the finish line but on the starting blocks. God has appointed us to run. We must run. We are ambassadors, emissaries, and sojourners.

We are to … lay aside every encumbrance (weight) … too much busyness and distractions we must last aside.

Wilbur Chapman – “Anything that dims my vision of Christ, or takes away my taste for Bible study, or cramps my prayer life, or makes Christian work difficult, is wrong for me, and I must, as a Christian, turn away from it.”

We have enablement in this race. We have the indwelling Holy Spirit cheering us and empowering us in this race! We are to fix our eyes on Jesus, the author (leader) and perfecter of faith.

The writer says here that Jesus “Who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame …” The reason? Jesus knew His work on earth was bringing many sons and daughters into glory.

That my friend, includes me and you!

So, that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Let’s choose, this very day, to fix our eyes on Jesus. Let’s glance at the world and gaze upon God!