Last time, we looked at the first part of Hebrews 12:1-3 to see what kind of preparation we can do outside of the race God has called us to run. But this passage also shows us two things we can focus on while we’re running: persevering when things get difficult and focusing on our priority while we’re running. Having the right mindset is a crucial part of living our faith journey wisely.

Look again at Hebrews 12:1-3:

Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith. For the joy that lay before him, he endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him who endured such hostility from sinners against himself, so that you won’t grow weary and give up.

We Must Persevere During the Race

In Greek, the word here for “race” is agon. It’s where we get our English word agony. When the author tells us we are running a race, they do not mean we’re in a sprint; we’re in a grueling marathon. It will require every resource you can muster and all of the strength and willpower you can pull together.

This is a picture of our faith journey. It will take us a lifetime to finish our race. We will encounter sunshine and rain, times of joy and heartache, and seasons of comfort and adversity. But we can rely on the one who finished the race as victor: Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

The race that each of us is running is as unique as the person running. I don’t have to run your race, and you don’t have to run mine. We are not competing against each other, so we should take every opportunity to be loving, encouraging, and helpful toward one another.

We Must Maintain our Priority During the Race 

No matter what comes our way during the races we run, we need to remember verse two: “keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith.” If we fail to keep our eyes on Him, we will be focused on all of the wrong things.

One of the ways we can look to Him is to do as the author of Hebrews said: “Consider Him” (v.3). We can meditate on the way that He persevered through trials and hostility, even from people like us.

One of the best ways I know to keep our eyes focused on Jesus is to have others hold us accountable to it. D-Groups are the perfect environment for this. As you and like-minded individuals each run your own races, you can shoulder one another’s burdens and spur each other on as you seek to run—and finish—well.

Keep your eyes on Jesus as you run so that you won’t grow weary and give up. We can all endure and come out victorious!

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