Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. We walk by faith and not by sight. Without faith it is impossible to please God. Faith comes from God’s Word. That’s why we have all the stories in the Bible. They’re not there to be good bedtime stories. They are there to show us real men and real women who lived by real faith. We learn from their examples. The Hebrews writer made a list of examples in Hebrews 11. Why? Because he was writing to Christians whose faith was being tested. They were getting weak and tired. They needed a boost. They needed to remember what they were living for. They needed to rekindle their faith. So the writer took them back to days of old where other men and women fought the good fight of faith. Abel. Enoch. Noah. Abraham. Moses. Samson. David. Rahab. Many who had great victories. Many who greatly suffered. Many who kept their eyes on God and are now waiting for the eternal reward of Heaven. The Hebrew Christians needed encouragement. Admonishment. Edification. And they were given it from God’s Word.
We are no different. We are in the same fight against sin and against the trials of this world. Our faith is going to be tested. We will be tempted by sin. We will become wearied by life. And the whole time we will be watched by the Father. By Jesus. By the Spirit. And by all the men and women of God in the Bible. And all the faithful men and women who have gone before us. They’re all watching, waiting to see what we will do. How we will live. What choices we will make. Will we be faithful? Will we be pure? Will we make it to the end? This is what the Hebrews writer tells us in Hebrews 12:1, “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.” We have a great crowd watching us. That can make us nervous! Moses is watching. Peter is watching. Jesus is watching. But we have to know that they are on our side. They are cheering for us. They all want us to succeed like they did! That is encouraging. But just like they did, we too have to get rid of sin in our lives. We can’t live in sin anymore. Get rid of it. Don’t let it weigh you down anymore. Get free from it through God’s mercy. We have to understand that it will not all be easy. It will be hard at times. It will take a lot of effort. We have to run with endurance. Never giving up. Never giving in.
It is without doubt that Jesus is our greatest example and champion of faith. That is why we are to be “looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2). Jesus left Heaven to come to this pitiful, sinful world. He lived as a man. He experienced the ups and downs of this life. Above all He experienced great suffering and shame when He was crucified. But the whole time His faith never failed. He endured the cross. He didn’t care about the shame. How did He do it? He kept His eyes on the Father. On His glorious reign in Heaven. He knew the truth. He had faith. He had hope. And He is now at the right hand of the throne of God. Jesus has called us to follow in His footsteps. Follow His example. He will help us. He will guide us and encourage us.
How well are we running the race that is set before us? Are we running in the holiness of God? Or are we still following the wrong path of sin? There’s a lot of people watching us. What will we do? What choices will we make? What will my example be to future generations? We have to get rid of sin. Lay aside every weight. Be faithful. Be holy. Live in hope of the unseen. Let’s be assured of the goal. Let’s be convicted about the reward. Let’s WALK BY FAITH.