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Hebrews 12:1-13 (ESV)
Jesus, Founder and Perfecter of Our Faith
12 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, 2 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.
Do Not Grow Weary
3 Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. 4 In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5 And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. 6 For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” 7 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9 Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. 11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. 12 Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.
How should Christians run the race?
Holy God, I read about amazing people of faith in the bible, I hear about the courageous acts of people living in areas hostile to Christianity, I see strong Christians dedicated to causes and live for a purpose that serves You and shares Your love. There are so many people past, present, and future that model what it is like to be a faithful Christian. The road they traveled was not easy but they were obedient and faithful and endured all obstacles. Lord, I don’t feel like my faith even compares to their obedience, sacrifice, and faithful service. Help me keep on the correct path that honors You. Help me to not trip on obstacles, take shortcuts or veer off the path into the wilderness. Let me shed any sins, unhealthy feelings, selfishness, or pride that may weigh me down and slow my progress. I know the road will not easy, there are many bumps, hills, and valleys. No one has served You without experiencing setbacks, pain, persecution, fear, or some kind of troubles. Keep me from discouragement and don’t let me give up. Help me to notice places along the path where You want me to stop to rest, to worship, or to serve in ways that honor You. Help me keep my eyes on the finish line, as You lead me and make my faith complete. One day, I will finish the race and will see You at the right hand of the throne of God. There I will worship You alongside those amazing people who were faithful before me. Give me the endurance to finish well and enjoy Your glory for eternity. Amen