Faith To Overcome | Hebrews 12:1-2
When we think about faith, our minds often focus on the importance of having faith to accomplish the things that God is calling us to do. We focus on having faith to believe God for the impossible, faith to trust in Him when we step out into the unknown, and faith to live the purposeful life that He calls us to live. But this cannot and must not be our only focus. Although it is important, when it becomes our only focus we can find ourselves walking around with tunnel vision which isn’t always a good thing. With that in mind, rather than simply focusing on having the faith to accomplish, we must also focus on having faith to overcome. That is, we must have faith to overcome the obstacles that attempt to prevent us from actually accomplishing the things that God calls us to do. You see sometimes it isn’t our lack of trust in God that stops from accomplishing our purpose or calling. Sometimes we have the faith to do what He is calling us to do but there’s still something holding us back. We have to understand that there are many other things in our life that can act as a hinderance to us. For example shame, habitual sin or even our relationships. And until we have the faith to overcome the obstacles that we face, we will never truly accomplish the things that God has set out for us to do.
In Hebrews 12:1 the author likens the Christian life to that of a race. Not a race where we are competing with each other, but rather an individual ‘appointed course’ (AMPC) that God has set before us. You see, when God saved us by grace through our faith in Jesus, He didn’t just save us merely for our own benefit. God’s intention is that our salvation, which is a free gift from Him, will result in acts of service. We are ‘created anew in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them‘ (Ephesians 2:10). And so this appointed course is created for us so that we can fulfil our purpose and do all the of the good things that God planned for us long ago.
One thing that we must understand when comparing our Christian lives to a race is that it isn’t a 100 metre sprint that requires a quick burst of energy. It isn’t the type of race that’s over within seconds. The Christian life is a life-long marathon that requires endurance, determination and focus. Because along this journey we will face difficulties, challenges and hardships. There will be things that attempt to weigh us down or trip us up. There will be distractions that attempt to stray us off track. There will be obstacles. And so if we are going to ‘run’ this appointed course to the best of our ability, we need to be able to endure through difficulties, be determined to strip of every weight that slows us down. And, we need to be able to remain focused so that we aren’t tripped up by sin. And there is only one way for us to do that…
“We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.”
Jesus is absolutely fundamental to every single part of our Christian faith. He initiates our faith and He completes our faith. He also brings our faith to maturity. He matures, develops and grows our faith in a way that gives us the ability to overcome every single little (or big) obstacle that we may face along the way. Thus, it is only by keeping our eyes on Jesus that we can truly “strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up and… run with endurance the race God has set before us”. When we keep our eyes on Jesus ensuring that He is our primary focus, we can have faith to overcome any obstacles that attempts to hinder us in our Christian walk.
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