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, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1, 2 NKJV)
*Live out your freedom*
The great cloud of witnesses are the examples of great faith listed in the previous chapter. Who are Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Sampson, Jephtha, David, Samuel, the Old Testament prophets, and New Testament saints (disciples of Jesus).
Since we have seen what God has done with them we have an unwavering confidence of what He is able to do with us. In that confidence (or faith [Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen Hebrews11:1]) we find the key that unlocks the shackles and chains of this world. His name is Jesus!
You see laying aside the weight and sin which very easily ensnares us and takes away or freedom isn’t so much our work. It is the work of God in our lives. He gives us the ability to lay these things down. Think of it as a partnership with the Lord where you are more of a silent partner. As the Lord says “I want you to trust Me and place your confidence in Me and not the things of this world that are so familiar to you” your right response is “yes Lord I trust you”. In that action He takes those things from you. We are commanded by Jesus to abide in Him and in His love (John 15). Abiding is a word that describes an action of holding tightly or clinging to something. As we cling to Jesus we have no room in our hands to hold onto the weight, and sin any longer.
As the spiritual weight and sin is shed we suddenly have the freedom to live (run) our lives for our Creator how we were created to do. But we need endurance to push through the tough times. The trials, tribulations, temptations of this life. Don’t worry this endurance is freely given to us by our gracious God as well. It comes when we keep our eyes vertically, fixed on Jesus and not horizontally, fixed on the things and issues of this fallen world. Remember that Jesus being the author and finisher of our faith who will not abandon us, but rather will accompany us through the hardest of times.
He proved Himself by enduring the cross, rising again the third day, and taking His rightful place at the right hand of the Father, just as He said He would. In all of this He had a joy, and that joy was the knowledge that we would now be able to really know Him, being restored to the Father, and being filled with His Holy Spirit. His joy is now our joy as we live out the freedom that comes only from a loving relationship with Him.
Remember how weighed down you once were? Remember the moment of freedom and joy that came when you discovered the Author of your faith? If so it’s time to spread the good news so others will have the same joy, confidence, freedom, and victory.
Precious brothers and sisters praise God today for His amazing work in and through our lives!