Hebrews 12:1-2 “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, (2) Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
The first verses of Hebrews Twelve give us two reasons to carry on as we run this race called the Christian Life.
The First Reason is those who have come before us. Hebrews 12 begins with “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses…” Hebrews 11, is often called the “Hall of Faith” as it lists the Old Testament saints who showed their faith. These are the “Witnesses” that surround us and inspire us to go forward. While these were the heroes of the faith that the Hebrews knew of in the first century A.D., our list of heroes and witnesses has grown considerably in the last two thousand years. What a better reason to carry on as we look at those who have gone before.
The Second Reason is The One who Goes before us. While many have come before us and have done great things so that we can be here today, none have done more that Jesus Christ. Not only has he gone before us and purchased our salva-tion with His blood (Heb. 9:28), but He currently goes before and with us (Heb. 13:5). He is not only the Author of our faith, but He is the Finisher of it.
As we move into the month of November we have two holidays, Veterans Day and Thanksgiving. On the first, we look at, honor, and thank the Veterans, who have come before us and fought for our freedom. On the second holiday we thank God who created us, saved us, guides us, and gave us all blessings, including the veterans of foreign wars and the Christian veterans of the faith. The veterans we thank this month not only answered the call of their country, but many were also an-swering the call of God to preserve our liberty to be able to worship Him. Hebrews 11 speaks of some military veterans “Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises… (Of whom the world was not worthy:)…” (Heb 11:33a, 38a) The veterans of our nation and the veterans of our faith are gifts from God that we do not deserve. When we thank them for their faithful service, we are also thanking God. As we celebrate these two holidays, let us be encouraged and challenged to “Run with patience the race that is set before us…”.
~Pastor Robert Meyer