Hebrews 12: 1-2 1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
When helping my daughter with her homework after school I see her get frustrated. She will get to a problem or a word that she can’t figure out and will throw her hands up exasperated. “I will never learn, I’m never gonna get this right”, she says while big tears flow from her eyes. To me it’s simple. It has been a long time since I was in first grade. 9+7 receives an instant response with little to no thinking required. I can’t help but think it is so silly to be THAT upset about something that seems so simple. But I am also reminded about all the times I throw up my hands and want to give up to. As a Christian I fail, a lot, some times on the same thing, over and over. I say “I am NEVER gonna get this right!” Much like my daughter, it’s not that I can’t get it right, I am just tired of trying. I just don’t want to. Hebrews 12 says we should “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles”. He could have just said “that entangles” but he had to add the “so easily”, and it’s true. Most of my common faults seem so simple to avoid. Ephesians 4:29 says “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Much like my daughter’s 9+7, I know the answer it’s just too hard to try.
“And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us“. I have ran a couple of races and I was counting down the miles to get to the finish line. At first you go at a good speed, “OH you got this” but after mile 2 I start looking at the RunKeeper to see how much longer. You have to push yourself to run to get to that finish line, whether doing a mile, 3 miles, or 31 miles. If a marathon runner did a 5k they would see it as a warm up, but if a couch potato jumped straight up and gave it a go it would feel like dying. The definition of perseverance is to be persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. In other words, keep going, keep trying. Don’t throw your hands up and say “OH WELL, I guess I will never get it, might as well not try”. If I just let my daughter give up every time she couldn’t (more like didn’t want to) do her homework she would fail her assignment and in the long run she would fail at every thing she deemed as hard.
“fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. ” Endure – suffer (something painful or difficult) patiently. Wow, I don’t like to suffer, I don’t like difficult things, and I am not very patient. But Christ, who knew no sin became sin on our behalf so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Cor. 5:21). And He is the perfecter of our faith. He is the one who began it and so He will bring it to completion, on the day of His coming.
So when you stumble, when you fail, when you get discouraged, continue on. 9+7 may be hard for you now but one day it will come automatically and there will be something else you will need to strive to do better. We are always growing and we should always push to be better.