The author of Hebrews refers to our Christian faith as a race. We are to run with endurance and perseverance. Anyone who has done medium to long distance running will automatically understand what this means. There will be moments in the run where we want to give up but we press on because our focus is on the finish line. Our focus is to finish the race. In fact, anyone who has come through any difficulties in life will know what it means to endure and persevere through the pain.
Just as a runner removes items that are unnecessary in a race because it will be a distraction because even a gram of extra weight can be distracting. Imagine running a race with jeans and a jacket. You will be too busy thinking about how uncomfortable the jeans are and how hot the jacket is making you feel. We need to remove it altogether. We are called to throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles our walk with God. In today’s culture, there are so many things that can hinder our walk with God: Addiction to social media, computers and phones for example. These things are useful but excessive use can negatively affect our walk with God. What sin is there in your life that is weighing you down? Sin can keep us from running an effective race for God. How can we give everything to God when we are held back or distracted by these issues? Any kind of sin must be dealt with and surrendered to God. The warning in this passage is that sin can easily entangle us. We do not want to be caught in a mess and regret our actions later on. All it took was a moment of weakness from David to become an adulterer. Let’s learn from the mistakes of the past and progress in our faith.
Progressing in our faith
Whether you realise it or not we are in the middle of a race. Why does the author of Hebrew describe our faith as a race and so did Paul in 2 Timothy. Because our Christian faith should or must move forward. We must progress in our faith and this means we must grow deeper in our relationship with God. We will not do well in a race if we do not train. In sports, when we train, we also train to focus on something to keep going. When you train for a race, you focus on the next water station and the next and ultimately you train to cross the finish line. When we train, our faith will only get stronger and more resilient. This is the same for our journey with God, we may get hit with struggles and trials, but refocus on Jesus. This means that whatever comes our way and even with our partial lockdown, we will have faith that He is with us and He has a plan through all this. This is just a temporary setback. A temporary storm. Every storm shall pass. We trust that His ways are higher than ours and always better even if we do not understand what is happening right this moment. You begin to realize that with Jesus on your side there is nothing that you can’t face. Even Peter could walk on water when he fixed his eyes on Jesus. We can overcome anything, even this current pandemic, when our focus is on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith.
Lord, we thank you for Jesus who is our savior and our king. We know you are with us even through this difficult time. Just as you were with the disciples in the storm, we know you are with us and this nation right now. Teach us to look to you even when there are so many things going on, so much noise. Help us to refocus and recentre our lives to you. We know all things will work out for good for those who love Him. We praise your Holy name and we declare our faith in you today and in our tomorrows. Amen.