Run With Endurance [Devotion]

Here we are… it’s November. As many of you know our deadline for the shoot script for Prodigal Princess is the end of the calendar year… less than two months… and I haven’t had a chance to touch the script in three weeks. I’ll admit it’s rather daunting. But as I was talking with the Lord about what to write today this passage came to mind.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)

The author of Hebrews has just finished writing chapter 11 which is often referred to as the Faith Hall of Fame. Here he mentions the faith of men and women like Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Moses, Rahab, David, and many more. Coming out of that he encourages his readers to lay aside everything that holds them back and run with endurance. He then tells them to look to Jesus as the example of endurance. Wow! What a charge! The first statement about a cloud of witnesses reminds us of the lives of the many faithful that have gone before and the examples they have given. But something that’s interesting to keep in mind is that the people listed in chapter 11 didn’t have the completed faith that we have now! They were still waiting for God’s promise of a messiah to be fulfilled. If they, holding on to promises yet to be fulfilled, ran with such strength and endurance how much more should we, encouraged by their examples cling to the fulfilled promises about Christ (confirmed in the resurrection)? Things were often difficult for them, they were sometimes snared by their own sin, sometimes persecuted for their faith, and sometimes they died for it! And they only had God’s promises to live on. But us! We live in the time of fullness of the Gospel! God’s promises have been fulfilled in the life and death of Christ and He has been confirmed as the one and only Son of God and fulfiller of the promises by His resurrection! As the result of this we as believers now have His Holy Spirit in us! Having seen God’s faithfulness to fulfill His promises we can trust the promises yet to be fulfilled and so set aside our sins, doubts, and fears and RUN! God has marked out a path and in full confidence of His promises, we can follow it knowing that He is faithful. And we can look to one who is not just an example of faith but the one who founded our faith and will finish our faith. Jesus is our goal, our aim, our coach, our advocate, our reward! Remembering the faith of those who have gone before, putting aside whatever hinders our faith (sin, doubt, fear), and with our eyes locked on the object of our faith we can run in assurance of ultimate victory.

This doesn’t meant that everything in our lives will be sunshine and rainbows (it wasn’t for the faithful of old or for Christ Himself) but it does mean that whatever pain and hardship we endure in the running of the race will be more than rewarded by the prize (which has already been won for us by Jesus!!!!!!!!!!!!). And in light of this I need to cast aside the doubts and fears that tempt me to trust in my own understanding and instead keep my eyes on the task I believe the Lord has called me to.

2 Corinthians 5:6-7 “So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight.”

We walk (or run) by faith, not by sight. So It is my prayer that I will courageously and faithfully face the challenges of the next two months (and next few years for that matter) in eager anticipation of what the Lord will do.

Set aside whatever is causing you to hold back… and RUN!