*This is Part 2 to a 2 part Run with Endurance series on Hebrews 12:1-2. To read part one go here.
How to Run with Endurance
1 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. 2 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 honor beside God’s throne.Hebrews 12:1-2
In part 1 we focused on verse 1, and discussed who the witnesses were and what they mean to us. We also talked about some examples of the weight or sin that slows us down or trips us up. Lastly we finished with understanding this race was set by GOD, therefore he is the one to equip us to run this race with endurance.
Now we continue on in Hebrews 12:2 to dive further into how we can run with endurance.
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 honor beside God’s throne.
We start by keeping our eyes on Jesus.
When I ran track and field our coach would always remind us, “keep looking forward, keep looking to the finish line.” That’s Jesus for us – in the Christian faith He is our goal. In addition, when we look to Christ directly – we are not looking around at anyone or anything else. All those weights and sin that can distract, hinder, or trip us up – are out of sight. Jesus is our sole focus. He is the only one that will help us endure.
The champion who initiates and perfects our faith
Not only is Jesus our goal – He is also there with us at the beginning, and will help us finish. I remember the one time I had my best time for a 2 mile run. Now remember, I was a sprinter, and it took a lot out of me to even run a mile at the time, so 2 miles in good time was almost a miracle. I was able to do it because I had started running with another distance runner and tried to keep up with her. I was learning from how she was running, how to set my pace, and breathing techniques so I don’t wear out too soon.
Thinking about running with Jesus – he is the perfect example of enduring through all circumstances. He showed us how and it is written in God’s word. He even left us with the Holy Spirit, as promised, to guide us. We can run with Him and keep our eyes on him by spending time in prayer, in God’s word, and in worship. These are the disciplines that will help us build up our endurance in the Christian faith.
Focus on the joy
Lastly, Jesus was able to endure the cross, because of the joy awaiting him. That same joy awaits us. Our temporary trials and discomfort here on earth are no match to an eternity of joy with God in Heaven.
We need to keep our eyes forward focused on Jesus and the joy awaiting us – not on our current trials, obstacles, or things that will weigh us down or trip us up. Jesus endured the cross, defeated death, and is the victor over sin. When we run alongside Jesus, when we keep our eyes on him, we too can rejoice that victory is ours. This thought alone is hope enough to keep me going on those hard days.