Running the Race
“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)
Working in student ministry, you encounter those who are athletes in a wide variety of sports. At our Coweta campus, many of our students are on the cross-country team. They live and breathe running. It is their passion. One of them can even give you stats on most of Oklahoma’s top high school runners. Throughout their season, these students will run different courses around our state and some even out of state. If you ask our runners about these courses, they’ll tell you each one is unique. Some are a breeze and you can easily set a personal record running there. On the other hand, some courses are grueling gauntlets that take every ounce of energy and endurance you can muster. Each leg of the cross-country season is different and provides its own challenges.
Whether or not you know it, we are all running a race. The author of Hebrews makes that fact very clear in these verses. So what is this race we are running? Paul gives us an answer to that question near the end of his life when he wrote that he had fought the good fight and had finished the race (2 Timothy 4:7-8). We are all running the race of this life. Each day is a new leg we must run and new challenges we must face. Some of these days will be easy to charge through, while others will take everything within us to get by. The times we are currently living in are proving to be one of the hardest courses we have had to run. Take heart though, hope is not lost.
The author of Hebrews tells us that there is One who has run this race before us. He paved the way and guides us through our journey. He went through shame, pain, and even death to show us the way to the correct finish line. This man’s name is Jesus, and He will lead us through every course and challenge this life will throw at us. If we want to get through this season of our race, we must fix our eyes upon Jesus, the author, and the perfecter of our faith. We must also cut off the sin that is weighing us down. It is keeping us from running at a full pace after the things of God. This sin is hindering us in our race. We are able to lay aside the weight and hindrance of sin through the sacrifice Jesus made for us on the cross. Again, we see that He has made a way for us to run this race. Today, let us fix our eyes upon our Savior, lay aside the sins that weigh us down and run the race set before us, no matter how difficult it may seem.
Pray and ask God to reveal the sins that are currently holding you back. Ask God to help you remove those from your life. Next, ask God to help fix your eyes upon Him. Ask for guidance and direction as you are running through this current season of your race. Lastly, thank Jesus for the sacrifice He made for you, and praise Him for the forgiveness He bought for us.
Coweta Campus Student Pastor
First Baptist Broken Arrow | Community Baptist Coweta