Running the Race of Faith

Hebrews 12:1-2

New Living Translation:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now, he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.

Good News Translation:

As for us, we have this large crowd of witnesses around us. So then, let us rid ourselves of everything that gets in the way, and of the sin which holds on to us tightly, and let us run with determination the race that lies before us. Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from beginning to end. He did not give up because of the cross! On the contrary, because of the joy that was waiting for him, he thought nothing of the disgrace of dying on the cross, and he is now seated at the right side of God’s throne.

There are many takeaways from this passage from Hebrews:

1. We are not alone in our struggle to stay faithful to God. The large crowd of witnesses are the people who came before us. We can think of them as up in the heavens, cheering us on in our “race.” They crossed the finish line a long time ago, but they haven’t forgotten about the rest of us. And we shouldn’t forget about them!

2. The “weights” that hold us back are difficult to let go. But we can pray for the strength to leave them behind. Once they are gone from our lives, we’ll finish our race stronger and lighter. The burden of these sins, these addictions, these people in our lives who don’t fit in with our faith have to be let go.

3. There’s no giving up. We might become discouraged at times because our circumstances get too hard, because life is unfair and because we might become persecuted or “unfriended” due to our beliefs. Jesus didn’t give up. We can’t expect to be as strong as our Savior, but we can think of the way he died for us as a reminder that as tough as we think our lives are, they can’t compare to the live and death of Jesus. We aren’t expected to be Saviors, but we can live our life as close to Christ-like as we can.

Fit In Your Faith Today: What weights are holding you back from finishing your race of faith?  Think of ways you can lighten your load, running towards the finish line with faith-filled endurance for Christ fueling you every step of the way.

You will do great things…

“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe. -Anatole France

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I wanted share an inspirational story today from a young lady I went to high school with named Heather.   She recently finished her first IronMan race.  If you think an IronMan is something someone just DOES one day, you are sorely mistaken.  If you have ever competed in an IronMan, then I salute you.  And I must ask you “Are you nuts?!”  Ha!

This is just her short “recap” of what the race was like, but I found myself in tears at the end of it.  Although it doesn’t relate to a figure competition directly, you can see the parallels of it with regards to Heather’s training and the mental fortitude she needed on race day.  We shared similar messages this entire time via Facebook and her blog posts seemed to echo mine sometimes that I felt like we were sharing the same brain.

Please click the link and enjoy Heather’s journey.  Congratulation again on being an IronMan Heather!!

http://www.theplacesifindmyself.com/2013/08/29/reca/