It’s an awesome mental picture!
A cloud of witnesses standing at the gates of heaven cheering us on as we run this race of faith with perseverance here on earth.
Along with my grandparents.
And many more of my ancestors who all lived by faith here on earth, passing their love of God on from generation to generation.
That’s what my cloud looks like! What a blessing!
When I read this passage, I can hear the faint cheers from heaven…
encouraging me to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus.
Encouraging me to throw off everything that hinders me from running this marathon of faith strong and sure here on earth.
Encouraging me to avoid the sin that so easily entangles.
Entangles is such a great description of what sin does in our lives, isn’t it?
God has marked out a race for each one of us. One step at a time.
Sometimes its baby steps.
And other times we slow down to a crawl.
But it’s very important to keep moving forward.
To keep focused on Jesus and let the Holy Spirit transform us.
God also tells us in Hebrews 12 about the value of the struggle.
Our perfect Father in heaven disciplines us, his children, perfectly. When we sin and rebel, he lets us experience the consequences. He does not spoil us. As we persevere with faith through these hardships we grow, we mature.
James tells us that we can become wise through our trials when we ask God for wisdom. God gives a generous amount of wisdom to everyone who asks and then believes they have received it. Too often we ask for wisdom but then don’t believe we have received it. So we don’t use it. We don’t accept that we can now make a wiser choice. We ignore the wisdom God wants to give us and continue to make the wrong decisions, going down the crooked path which brought us these trials in the first place.
This is not the race of faith God has marked out for us.
The cloud of witnesses are ready to cheer us on as we take our next steps toward a deeper love relationship with God.
I know one of my next steps in 2016 is to continue to memorize scripture. I memorized James 1 and Proverbs 2 and 3 this last year – I hope some of you memorized them with me. We are finishing up Proverbs 3 and then going on to Romans 8.
What is your next step?
Do you hear the cheers?
Thank you for the encouragement, Mom and Dad!