“Wherefore seeing we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
We have seen in Hebrews 11 in the past what may be termed as faith’s hall of fame. We saw the testimony of so many great heroes of faith; Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Moses and many others who are listed directly or mentioned indirectly. Some are mentioned by name, some by what they did or accomplished with the help of God. All of this is recorded in the word of God to be a help and an exhortation to us to stay faithful. Stay faithful. When the world turns on you, stay faithful. When you are all alone, stay faithful. When you are weak and afraid, stay faithful.
Notice again our text: we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. If we will but look into the word of God we will most assuredly find ample examples of those who have been this way before us and left an example for us to follow. Those who have gone this way before are able to lead us through what we face today. They are an encouragement to us to keep on keeping on.
Paul reminds us that we have
I. A race to run, a race of
II. A race that is marked out for us
a. by the word of God
b. by the examples of those who have gone before
III. A race that must be run with patience
a. in difficulties
b. in temptations
And when we find ourselves weak and weary in the way, ready to give up and give in. When we are about ready to just quit, that is when our Great Encourager will show up and help us to go just one step further. That is why we must look unto Him. Look at verse 2. He is our great example. He is the one to look too. The example of all those great people of God who have gone before us is that of being focused on God and following Him all the way home. He can help us in our travels when we find ourselves in need. When our faith is weak we can look to Him and find just what we need.
“Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.”