“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1-2).
Somewhere along the way, I got the idea that faith was supposed to be easy. I thought “true” faith was straightforward and would settle within me easily. For some reason, I thought faith that struggled to make itself known was less than. In a sense, I thought that if faith had to fight for a place in my heart, it wasn’t really faith at all.
Hebrews 12, however, seems to point me in a different direction; one that resonates with my actual experience of faith.
Although there are times when faith is easy for me, there are also times when I look around at the world and I wonder where God is. The weight of political corruption, racism, gun violence, poverty, child abuse and more makes it hard to run my race with perseverance.
Hebrews 12 speaks of a faith that perseveres even when it doesn’t feel easy.
Hebrews says that when the weight of the world makes faith hard, there’s only one place to look—“to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.”
Jesus leads us to God because he is fully divine and fully human. Yes, the brokenness of this world—and the brokenness in me—weighs me down and makes the race hard to run with faithful perseverance, but Hebrews says Jesus is right there with me.
Jesus is not only standing at the finish line of the race he is with me for every step of it.
Jesus is the pioneer and perfecter of my faith because he took in the brokenness of the world on the cross, but that brokenness didn’t get the last word. I worship the resurrected Christ. That gives me hope (and faith!) that the brokenness I see in myself and in the world is only temporary.
I can run with perseverance when I remember who runs with me.
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