A Great Cloud of Witnesses

Hebrews 12:1-2 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.

On the heels of giving a list of many of the Old Testament heroes of the faith, the writer of the book of Hebrews exhorts us to run our race with patience.  Live our lives for the glory of God in the face of the trials that will come our way.  The reason being, is that we have a great cloud of witnesses watching us run that race.

Everyone of us has a different course to run.  No two races are exactly the same.  One thing that each course does have in common, is that it is a marathon, not a sprint.  You don’t run a 100 yard dash with patience, however a long distance race must be run with patience.  The finish line is in the same place, heaven, but every course is different.

The course we are on will be filled with obstacles, hazards, and a lot of hills.  We grow weary in the race, fatigue sets in, we need to pace ourselves so we can finish the race strong.  Remember, there are an awful lot of people watching us, the same way that people were watching those Old Testament saints run their race.

The next generation of Christians are watching you in the race.  They want to see how you handle the difficult parts of your course.  Will you try to avoid the hard parts?  Will you quit while navigating the steepest hill?  Did you try to run the race while carrying a weight of sin?  Did you finish strong?

My hope is that when I come to the end of my race I can repeat, with the same confedence, what the Apostle Paul says in 2 Timothy 4:6-7 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:

There is a great cloud of witnesses watching you today.  Determine to run well.