Wherefore seeing we also 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. Hebrews 12:1-2a
Heaven is intently interested in what’s happening here on earth. Imagine a grandstand in Heaven filled with heroes of the faith, a “cloud of witnesses,” watching us and cheering us on. We are the runners; they are the spectators.
Many athletes have natural ability, but what is it that turns a mediocre athlete into a gold medal champion? One athlete is willing to hurt more than the others. When you can’t take another step, your muscles are sore, your body is aching—this is what it means to be running the race with perseverance, as Hebrews 12 says.
Today you may be hurting because a family member, coworker, or classmate has been unfair to you. A spouse has left. A friend walked away. Perhaps you were passed over for a promotion. You are bearing up under tremendous pressure. You are running to build endurance.
Run with patience, as others have done before you—the ones in that “great crowd of witnesses.” They testify to the fact that no matter how hard, it can be done. Look to Jesus. Building a faith that will go the distance takes both patience and time.