Principle: “When surrounded, run!”
No – it’s not time to be a coward! I’ve been thinking about Hebrews 12:1-2. “1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Since we are surrounded, run!
Now Heb. 12 follows Hebrews 11 (that’s brilliant, isn’t it?) What I mean is, the key to understanding these words is to remember what’s in chapter 11 – the “People of Faith” Hall of Fame. They are our witnesses. To what? To how to keep the faith in the midst of uncertainty and tough times. There’s Noah – he built the ark when there was no rain. (Imagine the neighbors!) There’s Abraham – he packed up everything, left behind everything familiar, and set out for a place he’d never seen. (I wonder if his family ever asked, “Are we there yet?”) There’s Joseph – so sure of his dreams, but such a long, round about, surprising way to their fulfillment. (I can hear him asking, “Lord, does anything ever come easy? Can I ever catch a break?”) And there are so many others.
In fact, says the author of Hebrews, consider Jesus. He knew all along that He would be King, the Ruler of the world. But first He “…endured the cross, scorning its shame…” Why? Because of the joy set before Him. Do you still believe in your vision? Do you still have your dream? Have you wondered lately if you’ll ever get there, if you’ll ever catch a break? “… ebeeHebrewssince we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Hang on. Keep at it. Drop and put behind all the ’stuff’ that’s gotten in the way. And remember to look at Jesus. You’re not on your own. It’s true you’re surrounded – but since you are, run! You’ve lots of running partners!