Weighed Down or Running Free
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. Hebrews 12:1-3
Choose faith in Jesus rather than the besetting sin of unbelief.
AMAZED! This is the word used to describe Jesus’ reaction to the faith of a Roman Centurion who requested healing for his sick servant. Jesus said, “I will come and heal him.” The Centurion replied, “Lord, I am not worthy for You to come under my roof, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed.” When Jesus heard this, he was amazed! Jesus knew all men’s hearts, but in his humanity he still marveled that this Gentile soldier showed more genuine faith in him than any of the Jewish people did. When we have problems, and we entirely trust Jesus to solve them, he takes marvelous delight in our faith.
And then, there was Thomas, one of the twelve. “We have seen the Lord, Thomas!” They exclaimed to him. “Unless I see the scars of the nails in His hands and put my finger on those scars and my hand in His side, I will not believe.” A week later Jesus confronted Thomas and exhorted him, “Thomas, do you believe because you see me? How happy are those who believe without seeing me!”
The sin of unbelief is the particular sin that easily entangles us. Doubting that God’s way is best and living in faith contradict each other. When we are weighed down with the sin of unbelief and self-reason like Thomas, it is easy for Satan to trip us and smack us down into the ditch with a painful thud. We must look entirely to Jesus like the Centurion did, recognizing that Jesus is the originator, sustainer, and finisher of our faith all the way to heaven. It is good to glance at the witnesses of Hebrews 11, but it is essential to fix our eyes on Jesus. He is the object of our faith.
Lord, help me to believe you at all times and not to look to myself.
- What problem am I facing that I can take to Jesus and trust him to solve?
- What was Jesus’ motivation to run the race the Father gave to him? How might knowing his motivation help me to trust Jesus when I am tempted to look to other things?
“For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18