Therefore, 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, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy that was set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
This passage is often related to running a marathon.
So if we are running a marathon, what do we need to know?
(I did some research for you)
The hardest part of the marathon is preparation and training. And yes, admitting that we are so easily entangled by sin is hard. In the book “everybody’s normal till you get to know them” John Ortberg writes: “in the way that glass is predisposed to shatter and nitroglycerin is predisposed to explode, we are predisposed to do wrong when conditions are right.” This is our nature. But what is harder it is to “throw off” not only sins but also “everything that hinders”. We ought to ask not just “is it sin?” But also “does it help me run for Jesus?” In order to run this race well.
The second hardest part is actually running. When we choose to follow Jesus, He did not promise us an easy care-free life, quite the opposite. ‘In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.’ John 16:33
Why not finishing? Because Jesus is the one who not only was the reason for us to run but also our finish line and reward. He is a pioneer and perfecter of our faith.
So look up to Him seated “at the right hand of the throne of God”, what He endured for the joy of the reward, and do not get weary and lose heart.
We know this marathon is a winning one, even if we endure losses along the way. Choose your pace, throw off everything that slows you down, and look to Jesus to make your faith complete.
There may be sins that have obviously hindered you, but what things that are considered “good” have been hindering you?
Are you willing to throw off anything that keeps you from running the race well?
Stop today and ask, “Lord, reveal to me the things that are hindering me from following you with my whole heart, mind, body and soul.”