Hebrews 12:1-13 is one of my favorite passages in the Bible. It’s the one I go to when life seems exhausting and I just can’t seem to catch my breath. These are the words I’ve clung to during this past year and a half of unfortunate events and major disappointments. Every time I read it, I am filled with hope and assurance in who
If you’re like me, maybe you’ve felt like this past year has been one punch to the gut after another. Just when you’ve begun to pick yourself up off the ground, another thing hits you and knocks you back down. This cycle can be so defeating. Every time you get the wind knocked out of you, it’s a little harder to get back up. There have been many days I have wondered what the point was in trying to get back up since I could assume something else would be coming sooner or later. It felt hopeless. But Hebrews 12 reminds us that it is never hopeless with Jesus.
We are running a race. A very important one that is worth getting back up for again and again and again. So how do we do this when we have no energy left? We call out to Jesus who is no stranger to struggle.
The word endurance comes from the root word, ENDURE. To endure means to “suffer patiently.” That is a beautiful picture, don’t you think? And one that Jesus perfected. He is the ultimate picture of what it looks like to suffer patiently. Even before the cross, He had endured so much. Hatred, ridicule, rejection. He is no stranger to suffering. Yet, He did it with so much patience and grace. He knew the purpose of His suffering would glorify His Father, and that made it worth it.
How can we follow Jesus’ example of suffering patiently? Hebrews 12 instructs us to “lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely…” By shedding the sin in our lives, we can carry the weight of the race better; nothing hindering us. The passage also tells us to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. By remaining fully turned toward Him, we are reminded that our joy comes from Him, not our circumstances. Suffering patiently means fully surrendering to God’s will, and not attempting to control the situation ourselves.
"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."
Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV