Dawn Bullock
July 9, 2024
Image of group of runners

Almost time for the Summer Olympics. In just a few weeks, we’ll witness the grit and determination of athletes from all over the world as they give it everything to win the coveted gold medal. On screen, we’ll witness triumphs and failures. We’ll feel the elation of the winners and the disappointment of those who fall short. These athletes have endured years of dedicated physical training and mental preparation to get to this level of competition.


Without the support of trainers and others, their journey to this world stage of competition would be much harder. It requires commitment and dedication to undergo a steady path to excellence. Competitors draw inspiration from the achievements of the athletes that came before them. They embrace their legacy; driven to push the bar just a little bit higher. They hope to leave their own footprint of endurance for those who will follow them.


As Christians, each of us is on a journey as well. Our goal is not to win a place on the medal stand. Ours is a faith journey, one whose reward is the Person of Jesus Christ. How are we to run our race? Hebrews 12:1 says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” So, what is this “cloud of witnesses”? Hebrews chapter 11 lays it out for us. In it we read the roll call of the faithful; those whose example of faithfulness to God was a testament to the faithfulness of God in their lives. They accomplished much by their obedience to God by enduring even in some of the direst of circumstances.


The testimonies in Hebrews 11 are meant to be an encouragement to new believers who are struggling to persevere in their new faith that is much different ritually following the rules and rituals of their past. Hebrews 11:1 tells us, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” This is the faith that requires endurance.

We read about Abraham, who left his homeland, not knowing where he was going. God had promised him a new land and descendants too numerous to count. There is Noah, who endured ridicule from those around him as he built the ark. He had no idea how the years ahead would unfold. And let’s not forget Moses, whose action to defend one of his own people caused him to flee Egypt. God would later instruct him to return to Egypt to free his people from the bonds of slavery. Stories follow of Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and many others, who stepped out in faith, confident that God would deliver on his promises. Many of them didn’t live long enough to see the fulfillment of God’s promises, but their obedience to God, their grit and determination, became a lesson for all who came after them. They endured.


How are you doing in your faith journey? Are you running with endurance the race set before you? Are you committed and dedicated to the development of becoming stronger in your faith? It takes endurance, but don’t be dismayed. Be encouraged by those who ran the race before you. They clung tightly to God’s promises, and so should we. Let’s aim to set the bar just a little bit higher as we withstand and run towards our goal of eternal life with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Click to listen to Josh Glasscock’s testimony of endurance

Questions about endurance? Click here

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