Faithful Endurance

Jun 5, 2024 | The Chuck Wagon

“…let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,”  Heb. 12:1b; NKJV

This verse appears to us immediately following an entire chapter about faith. It is followed by the answer to every struggle we could ever experience in this life. It states, “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 has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb. 12:2; NKJV). The Greek meaning for the word “despising”, or despise, in this verse has a dual meaning. It means to look down upon, but carries the additional requirement of understanding. Jesus understood the reason for the appearance of shame, knowing that it was for a greater purpose. That purpose included paying the ultimate price for the forgiveness of our sins.

Sometimes we will be put down, shamed, or even ridiculed for laying aside the weight of sin in our lives. It might appear to others that you do not take certain things as seriously as you should. You might not display sorrow or guilt as others expect given certain situations. You may not appear to be burdened by things the way those around you are. If we live our lives trusting God for the outcome of our trials, we will not experience the worry, anxiety, and grief some do. There are some who will try to impose their worry or anxiety on you. As the saying goes, “misery loves company.” We cannot allow the opinions of others to detract from what we know to be true in Christ. If we do, we open the door for the weight of sin to ensnare us.

Jesus told us what to do with the heaviness of our lives. He said, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest” (Mt. 11:28; NASB). For believers, it is our faith that allows us to “lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us,” because we trust the Lord with all of it. God forgives our sin when we accept His Son, Jesus Christ, as our Lord and Savior. That does not mean we no longer sin. It is sin that causes hardship in our lives. The world is full of sin and people who dwell in it. We will not be free of that until Christ comes again. It is up to each of us to “run the race that is set before us” every day, regardless of our surroundings.

We are called to “keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God” (see Col. 3.1). When we fix our gaze on the risen Christ, we can make it through all this world can throw at us. It is our faith that keeps us going, sometimes when everything seems against us. Keep looking above, to Jesus, in all situations. When things seem good as well as when they seem anything but good. He is our strength and our deliverer. Whatever is going on in your life in this world pales compared to what we have waiting for us in the life to come. Glory be to God!

God bless and have a great week

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