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, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.
Don’t you love a movie with a great montage? Elle Woods prepping for the LSATS and getting into Harvard, Rocky training to fight Ivan Drago, any teen movie featuring a makeover — they’re the best! Don’t you wish that life had a montage button that you could just hit so that all the really hard stuff just felt like an ’80s dance party?
If you are trying to do something really hard right now, I want you to know that discouragement will be part of the process. As Christians, we are called to persevere through trials and difficulties and trust in God’s faithfulness. Hebrews 12:1–3 acknowledges that life can be challenging but that we can draw strength and motivation from those who have gone before us and from Jesus Himself.
Jesus is described as the founder and perfecter of our faith, who endured the cross and despised its shame because of the joy set before Him. His example of patience and endurance in the face of suffering and death is our ultimate inspiration as we face our own challenges. Did you catch how he was able to overcome it? He didn’t focus on the terrible thing he was about to experience. He focused on what he was trying to accomplish. To endure the cross, he thought about the salvation and freedom his sacrifice would bring.
You’re working so hard. Why? What were you trying to accomplish? What is the joy that is set before you? Don’t ever lose sight of the goal or forget why you started in the first place.
As we face trials and difficulties, remember the words of Hebrews 12:1–3 and look to Jesus as the ultimate example of patience and endurance. Lay aside every weight and sin that clings so closely and run with endurance the race that is set before us. Let us consider Jesus and the hostility He endured so that we may not grow weary or fainthearted. And let us trust in His faithfulness and strength to carry us through whatever challenges we may face.
Dear God, when life is challenging and discouraging, help us to draw strength from those who have gone before us and from Jesus himself. Help us lay aside every weight and sin that clings so closely and run with endurance the race that is set before us. As we face difficulties, help us to remember Jesus’ example of patience and perseverance in the face of suffering and death. May we never lose sight of our goals and the joy set before us, and trust in your faithfulness and strength to carry us through. Thank you for your constant love and inspiration and for being with us every step of the way. In Jesus’ name, amen.