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, 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.
Countless others before us have run the race of faithfulness. They endured hardships and struggles and great trials in order to do so. They faced danger and battlegrounds and even death, but they continued on with their eyes on that great future hope. They went forward trusting God to protect and provide and do impossible things. And in the end, surely their faith and faithfulness were rewarded.
We each have our own course to follow, and Jesus is our great example. He ran His race with grace and strength, remaining faithful to the Father, not straying from the path, enduring to the end. And what came after was He took His rightful place at the Father’s right hand. So may we be willing to follow the course that God has set for us, no matter what it involves. We have a cross of our own to bear, but we have to keep moving forward to our own expected end, accomplishing what God has for us to do.
So are we going to be faithful to our race? Will we join the great crowd of people who have lived for God and put all their heart and passion and energy into doing so? Will we keep going when it gets tough, knowing many others have done so? Will we push through when we’re ready to give up because we know it will all be worth it in the end? Can we see, if even just a glimpse, that finish line in the distance where we’ll bow before our Lord and He tells us, “Well done”?
There is only one thing that can keep us going when the storms come or the path gets steep or our energy wanes. If we look back, we’ll only be tempted to give up. If we look at the others around us, we may stumble as we run. But if we look at Jesus and focus on Him we’ll be able to keep moving forward with that steady, even pace that will carry us through to the end. It’s not going to be easy. He never promised it would be. But surely He’ll be our biggest cheerleader and encourager as we take one step of obedience at a time, sticking faithfully to our course for His sake.