“ 1Therefore, 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, 2fixing 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. 3Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” – Hebrews 12:1-3
Similar to the Christian life, your season is not a sprint, but a marathon. Athletes need endurance to grind through the early mornings, long nights, practices and games just like Christians need endurance to get through the war raging all around us every day. The encouragement we find in Hebrews is that we are surrounded.
Honesty hour: fans, including friends and relatives, can be ruthless. Their emotions are tossed and thrown by the game in front of them and sometimes they respond in discouraging ways. Thankfully, the fans are not the witnesses Hebrews is referring to. The witnesses that surround you now, during your game, and beyond are those that have gone before you and me. From Abraham to now, there have been countless people of faith who have given witness to the goodness, love and faithfulness of God. Their stories surround you and encourage you to press on.
What does this mean for you on the field or court? First off, God’s goodness, love and faithfulness doesn’t stop at the boundaries of your game. These witnesses testify that God is with you in whatever situation and outcome. Second, we see in their example that we can throw off the expectations, fear, and even sin that keeps us from the freedom found in Jesus. You do not have to go out in your game and play under the brutal weight of the fans’ expectations or whatever else is hindering you. Rather, you can play in freedom because you are loved by God and there are witnesses to prove it.
- Meditate on God’s goodness, love and faithfulness witnessed by those in scripture and in your life.
- Thank God for who He is.
- Ask God to give you eyes to witness Him in your game today and life going forward.