As we run this marathon of faith, we need to "throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us" (Hebrews 12:1). Excess baggage and weight will only hinder our marathon and will lead to tired and ineffective running. These added weights could be feelings of anxiety, worry, bitterness, or greed. Our weights could be unconfessed sins or doubts about God's power. These hindrances can slow our race down to a halt. We can look at the examples of the faithful in Hebrews 11 and realize that they overcame many obstacles and weaknesses. They overcame, and so can we.
One of our greatest hindrances is our preoccupation with ourselves. Instead of staying focused on the road that we are running, we begin to compare ourselves to other runners. We begin looking to our sides and behind us, instead of keeping our eyes forward. We need to keep our eyes on Jesus who stands at the finish line waiting for us to complete the race. He should always be the focus of our faith because He is the giver and wellspring of life.
"We need to keep our eyes on Jesus who stands at the finish line waiting for us to complete the race."
Jesus Christ Himself is our greatest role model for finishing the long marathon. During His life on earth He endured opposition, ridicule, scorn, blasphemy, torture, and betrayal. Yet Jesus endured because He was motivated by the glory that was awaiting Him in heaven. Jesus' prize is our prize. When we finish the marathon, we will find our rewards in heaven. Our ultimate reward -- Christ Himself -- should be enough motivation to keep us running, persevering, and moving forward.
If you are feeling weak, tired, and unmotivated -- fix your eyes upon Jesus. He is the greatest role model of faith and wants to motivate, encourage, and equip you in your race.
Prayer: Father, help me to throw off anything that is hindering me in my marathon of faith. Help me to stay focused on You and to follow Your example. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. . .To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God" (Revelation 2:3, 7).