Oh God, raise up a prophet in this congregation; one who clearly hears Your voice, and command them to faithfully proclaim that word to Your church. May we then have ears to hear and the faith to obey and follow wherever You lead. May we boldly go when You call and may we not look back; keeping our eyes firmly fixed on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith. This church does not belong to us. Oh God, to You be the glory in all that we do. In Jesus name, Amen.
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. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
I love these texts that mention running since I am a runner myself. I have run many races: A number of 5K and 10K races; 3 marathons; and a bunch of other races of varying distances. Currently I am training for a 1/2 marathon which will take place in a couple weeks.
Running a race can be grueling; your muscles get tired, you develop cramps or some kind of pain or doubts enter your brain about your ability to finish. When these things happen the temptation is to immediately find relief and stop and quit the race. Those thoughts have entered my mind many times.
But I have kept running.
What helps me when the going gets tough is thinking about the finish line; picturing my wife standing there cheering me on and longing to receive that finishers t-shirt and/or medal. I focus on what lies ahead and not on my current circumstances. Sounds contrived considering the Hebrews text but its true.
No doubt you are going to run into tough times in this life.
No doubt you are going to feel like giving up.
No doubt Satan is going to speak his lies to you that it is not worth it.
But Jesus has already finished the race for you. Jesus endured the cross and won the prize FOR YOU. Place your faith in him and keep your eyes fixed on the finish line…where Jesus is waiting to give you your finishers medal; your crown of glory.
Keep running and I’ll see you at the finish line.