The Race Of Faith
The Christian life can be described in several different ways. One very apt description is that of a race. We might call it the race of faith. Certainly this race is not a short sprint, but rather a lengthy marathon. The writer of Hebrews pictures such a race with the words: “…let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…”. In another version that phrase is rendered: “…and let us run with patience the particular race that God has set before us.”
The admonition to run with endurance conveys clearly the thought that this race is not an easy one. The course we are called to run will contain obstacles. Our Hebrews writer envisions one such deterrent, the danger of discouragement. In Hebrews 12:3, “For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.” The call to consider all that Jesus endured is intended to remind us that He ran His race for our sake. What we may have to face in our race is small compared to what our Savior suffered. So take heart and keep running. Jesus ran His race with endurance for the joy that He knew would be His afterwards. We can also run with assurance that there will be ample joy at the finish line.
In the Living New Testament, the wording calls for patience to run the particular race God sets before us. My race and your race likely will not be run on exactly the same course. Jesus told Peter and John theirs definitely would not. In addition to avoiding discouragement, it is also essential to stay away from comparison while running the race of faith.
Good runners don’t look back or look around. They look forward. The Bible gives good running advice for our race. “…looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…”.