From Lynda Lindsey
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith Hebrews 12:1-2(a)
Consider Him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. Hebrews 12:3
It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? Hebrews 12:7
Athletes, serious in their quest to take home the prize, develop both physical and mental stamina. Picturing success, they set goals, train, and stay focused and sharp. Training and competing in less than ideal circumstances, athletes patiently endure hardships, difficulties and setbacks on the way to victory. Just so, believers are called to run with endurance. We lay aside any encumbrance that hinders us, focusing on Jesus. Jesus, enduring the cross, became sin for us; yet He overcame sin and death thereby becoming our source of strength.
Knowing we will encounter hardships, trials, and difficulties, how do we run our life race with endurance? Look to Jesus, consider Jesus, and accept God’s discipline. Discipline refers to the process by which we learn a certain way of life. Like craftsmen learning a trade from a master teacher, we receive instruction, teaching and training; we practice what we learn until we can imitate our teacher. Look, and learn, from Jesus. Consider what He endured. Taking our sin upon Himself, Jesus was estranged from, and abandoned by, God. Forsaken, for our sake, yet He endured.
Jesus, for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despised the shame and scorn heaped upon Him, and rose victorious from the grave! We endure, bear up under the load, and do not grow weary or fainthearted, taking our strength from Him. His strength is our strength. Like an athlete laying aside any extra encumbrance, we lay aside sins and habits that weigh us down and keep us from running well. We endure His discipline; it is for our good, allows us to share His holiness, and yields righteous fruit in our lives. Don’t run the race halfheartedly; run with endurance!