“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting Him, He endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now He is seated in the place of honour beside God’s throne.”
Usain Bolt can take pride in the fact that he is the recorded ‘fastest man on this earth’. He trained hard, most probably sacrificed many things, all for the sake of perfecting his sport and becoming the world’s best champion. Did you know that we too are in a race, the race of life. Yet this is not a race that needs to be won, in terms of finishing the fastest. This race is won with patience, integrity and God-like living. Our ‘training’ is imitating Christ in all we do, exercising spiritually (praying, worshipping and reading His word), sacrificing the empty pleasures of sin and living for Jesus wherever we are.
The most comforting thing, is that we can all be winners and be crowned champions. In fact we are already on the winning side. Moreover, when we feel like giving up we can look to those who have gone before us as our inspiration, ‘the Hero’s of faith’ mentioned in Hebrews, chapter 11; people who were just like us, warts and all, people who fell down but got back up, and persevered to the very end. Yet above all else, we can look to Jesus, who came to this earth, ran the race of life and completed it with excellence. He now sits championing us on, running by our side, encouraging us along the way and being our best supporter.
Wherever you are, re-focus on Jesus, fix your eyes on Him and press on. If you have fallen, don’t give up, instead, get back up. In addition, if there is something that is causing you to stumble, get rid of it. Give it to Jesus. Let the joy of what awaits us give us a new burst of energy. May we all run together, encouraging one another, keeping our eyes on the Author and Finisher of life itself. For what joy awaits those who finish well.