Witnesses, Races & Crowns

Witnesses, Races & Crowns

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us . . .  (Heb 12:1)

The witnesses spoken of in the above verse are already in heaven (saints from the Old Testament).  We are instructed to lay aside every weight (cares of this life, family concerns, money issues, etc.) and sin, and to resolutely run the “race” that is set before us.  The race is the Christian life which is a marathon, not a sprint.  This is why we must run it with fortitude, patience and faith.

“If I bear witness of Myself, My witness is not true. 32 There is another who bears witness of Me, and I know that the witness which He witnesses of Me is true. You have sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth.”  (Joh 5:31-33)

In this passage of Scripture, Jesus says that His witness is John, the Baptist.  Let us ask ourselves, who will be our witnesses? 

Every believer whom we have ever known who is already in the heavenlies, is our witness.  Other witnesses will include everyone who has ever known us, as well as our own family and extended family members.  What will they be able to say about us?  Will they be able to testify that we are Christians and that we lived as Christians?  Will our spouse and our own children be able to give a good testimony about us?  These are vital points to consider and reflect upon.

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.  (1 Cor 9:24) 

Run your race in such a profoundly beautiful way that you will assuredly receive your crown in heaven which is the prize for which we strive.

For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise . . .  (Heb 10:36)

We need to endure and persevere in faith and strength, so that we may receive these blessed promises.  Hallelujah!

Don’t Throw Away Your Confidence

Don’t Throw Away Your Confidence

Therefore, do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward.  For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.  (Heb 10:35-36 KJV)

Endurance means constancy; perseverance; steadfastness; or patient stamina.  We have need of such endurance as we trust in God and in His Word to meet our every need, and the needs of others.

Why do we need endurance?  So that we may experience victory in Jesus which can only come through the faith that He has given to each believer as a free gift!

The enemy of our souls uses various tactics to shake us and to try to discourage our faith in God.  He wants us to give up and to stop believing the truth of God’s Word, because that’s the only way that he can prevent us from receiving God’s promises.

Here’s a specific example.  I relied upon Bible verses on the topic of healing when I was young, and engaged to be married.  I was told that I had a cyst on my left ovary.  The critical fact was that it was the only one I had!  Due to an emergency removal of the other ovary some years prior, I didn’t even know if I would be able to have children.

So, now—not wanting to be made barren—I prayed daily for healing, and I meditated on verses of Scripture concerning healing.  My fiancé joined with me in trusting God for a miracle.  After about a month, during a communion service, I felt an overpowering knowledge that I had been healed.  I had an appointment with my doctor the following day, and was told that the cyst was gone!  The Lord had performed a miracle for me!  Hallelujah!  We had to obstinately hold onto God’s Word to receive what He had promised us.

The Lord gave us four beautiful children to raise, and they’re adults now.  Over the course of raising our kids and 41 years of marriage, my husband and I have experienced many, many answered prayers and miraculous occurrences in our family.  Our kids have experienced miracles.  I’m not saying that we’re perfect.  No.  We’re human and we struggle with faith as everyone does.  We’re familiar with the fear that attacks a person when they are given a negative diagnosis or when facing any crisis (whether financial, mental, or physical).

We have learned that when we trust God, meditate upon His unfailing love, and simply persevere in faith, He always meets our needs.  There have been countless variations in the methods that God uses, but the result is always, always that God fulfills His Word.

Just be patient . . . and know that God loves you and He WANTS to meet your need.  Find some Scriptures that promise you the thing or things that you need or desire, and ask God to fulfill them in your life.

Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You.  (Ps 143:8 NIV) 

Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.  (Ps 37:4 NKJV – emphasis added)

Think of endurance as having a stubbornness or obstinacy in your faith.  Don’t let go of your confidence in God’s Word!