Hebrews 11 is often known as the “Hall of Faith.” The writer recalls the heroic saints who journeyed before us, having demonstrated unwavering faith in God despite the hardships and tribulations these heroes encountered along the way. At the beginning of Hebrews 12, we are told why the writer has championed their stories. As we learn of their deep faith and great works for the kingdom, we are motivated to turn away from the things that keep us from steadfastly walking with God. Taking this verse apart piece by piece gives us a picture of a race.
Here we are at the starting line preparing to run. The stands are full of godly men and women like Noah, Abraham, Rahab, and Joseph, who are cheering us on! They are smiling, clapping, and calling out to us: “You can do this! Don’t give up! Keep looking forward!” They have already run the race and finished to win the prize. Paul, who plays the role of sports commentator in this image, cries out: “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize” (1 Corinthians 9:24). You turn and see this man full of joy and contentment. You quickly are reminded of his journey on earth where he relentlessly kept going and preaching the gospel no matter how difficult things became. You recall his astounding words that he wrote while in prison.
For I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength (Philippians 4:11-13).
A Moment to reflect:
Is there anything in your life right now that keeps you from steadfastly walking with God?
What do you think was Paul's secret to being content?
What's one thing you can pray for this week as you join us on this three part series?
By Sue Corl and Nancy Martin; an excerpt from For Such A Time As This: Walking Through Crisis *A moment to reflect is added for this post.