“Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, 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, 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. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.” —Hebrews 12:1–3
Hebrews 12 develops the theme of endurance. The first three verses teach us that the key to persistence is passion.
All the men and women of faith in Hebrews 11 “made it” because they felt passionate about their cause. The writer compares our lives to a race and tries to convince us that we must run with endurance if we plan to finish well.
The text also suggests that if the key to persistence is passion, then the key to passion is purpose. We must run with purpose, not aimlessly.
And the key to purpose? Perspective. The writer of Hebrews admonishes us to consider three things that will help us to finish well:
1. Consider them (12:1) Since a great cloud of witnesses has gone before us, we must get serious about finishing well.
2. Consider ourselves (12:1) It is now our turn to run the race and watch for pitfalls. We must lay aside every encumbrance that would prevent us from finishing well.
3. Consider Jesus (12:2–3) Jesus ran His own race and endured hardship by fixing his eyes on the rewards; we must follow His example.
Drawn from an article in The Maxwell Leadership Bible.