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Friday, June 21, 2019

Encouragement to Keep Going

In review of Hebrews 12:1, it reminds me, “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” (NLT).

Hebrews 12:1
I am fortunate to have a large crowd of examples / witnesses from scripture. So then, I need to rid myself of everything that gets in the way, and of the sin and bad habits which hold on to me so tightly, and then run with determination the race that lies before me.

I do not struggle alone, and I'm not the first to struggle with the problems I face. Others have run the race and won, and their examples and witness can encourage me to run and win as well. To run the race that God has set before me, I must strip off the excess weight that slows me down. I can do this by, (1) choosing friends who are also committed to the race. (2) Drop certain activities that are not beneficial. (3) Get help for areas that disable me.

Life as a Christ follower involves hard work. It requires me to give up whatever might endanger my relationship with God, to run with endurance, and to struggle against sin with the power of the Holy Spirit. To do so, I must keep my eyes on Jesus, for I will stumble if I look away to stare at myself or my circumstances.

There are times when I feel like giving up. It's encouraging to know that everyone has that moment where they’ve been struggling with something. It may be a health issue, a broken relationship, financial problems, or depression. We wonder if we have the strength to keep going because we just can’t see any light at the end of the tunnel.

When this happens I can find some encouragement from Hebrews 12 which gives me some powerful reason to keep on keeping on.

Hebrews 11 is the “faith chapter” that tells me about the great people of the faith; such as Abraham, Moses, David, and many others. Their stories are sources of encouragement in and of themselves. But the verse that starts off chapter 12 is worth focusing on.

What Paul is saying is that I shouldn’t want to give up because heaven is watching and cheering for me. That’s encouraging news!

I have an audience. Nothing I have ever done has been hidden from heaven. God sees it all! As Job says, “He sees everything I do and every step I take” (Job 31:4 TLB). And Jesus tells us, “Even every hair on your head has been counted” (Luke 12:7 GW). God knows every detail of my life. He watches every breath I take. There are no secrets between him and myself.

And it’s not just God who’s watching. Abraham, Jacob, Moses, and all the other saints are there as well.

Therefore when I start to get discouraged, remember that people who have gone through much worse circumstances than me are watching to see how well I endure.

When I feel like giving up, remember the people who have gone before me and are offering me encouragement through their life stories of faith.

In summary, there is a large crowd of witnesses from scripture who's stories of faith can encourage me. I need to rid myself of everything that in the way or slows me down, then run with determination the race that lies before me. I need to choose friends who are also committed to the race. Drop things that are not beneficial, no matter how important or noble they may be. Get help for the areas that disable me. Give up anything that might endanger my relationship with God, use the power of the Holy Spirit to help me in struggles with sin. Keep my eyes on Jesus, otherwise I will stumble. There have been and will be times when I feel like giving up. It's hard because we just can't see any light at the end of the tunnel. Draw encouragement for Hebrews 12:1. Heave is watching and cheering for me. Use the examples of those who have gone before me and offer encouragement through their stories of faith.

Thank you Father for my brief time with you this morning. This review of Hebrews 12:1 speaks to me both in my spiritual journey but right now in the face of my work and projects. I need to encourage myself and others from my team. Collectively myself and the team need to drop things that are not beneficial, and get help on the areas we struggle with. I pray this morning Father for me to work today and next week with the clarity of focus you have provided me in today’s study. I also ask for your wisdom and guidance today for my work, my leadership and my interaction with others. I ask this in your Son Jesus name, amen.

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