Recent skype calls with friends—both from across the ocean and from different cities around this country—have greatly encouraged me. I have felt "held up" by these friends, my great cloud of witnesses.
Inspired by their examples—of how they are living faithfully and courageously,
of how they are trusting God in the different seasons of their lives,
and of how they are facing difficulties without giving up.
Keep pressing on.
God is bigger.
We can’t fit Him in a box.
He has a plan even if we can’t see what it is.
He will never leave us and will always provide what we need.
And I’m thankful for Jordan—who came back to cheer me on after a run together last week. She gave me a high five as I neared the finish line and a “Woo hoo! Pretty fast!” And of course, I wasn’t that fast, but I appreciated her big smile and words of encouragement. As we walked up the hill together toward home, she said, “On the last stretch, I just kept focused on the big tree in the middle of the sidewalk. It got closer and closer and I could forget about everything else. Kind of like the verse ‘Fix your eyes on Jesus.’”
“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. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before him 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 sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” (Hebrews 12: 1-3)
God never promised that the race marked out for us would be easy. But He promises that as we become weary and consider giving up, fixing our eyes on Jesus will inspire and strengthen us. And we can tune our ears to hear the cheers of our great cloud of witnesses—both from the past and from the heroes of the faith that God has put in our lives today. They help us to keep running with perseverance and to not lose heart.
And like them, we can focus our spiritual eyes through a lens of faith to see what our physical eyes cannot see.
“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1)
“By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family.” (11:7)
“By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.” (11:8)
“By faith (Moses) left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible.” (11:27)
“Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. ‘Make level paths for your feet,’ so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.” (Hebrews 12:12-13)
“Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your eyes directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left.; keep your foot from evil.” (Proverbs 4: 25-27)
Fix your eyes on Jesus.