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, Hebrews 12:1
and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. Ephesians 6:15
Endurance is defined as the act of suffering patiently.
The life of a Christian is compared to a marathon of endurance, where the race is not measured in meters or miles but in the trials, long-suffering, and patience encountered along the journey. Just as a marathon runner faces a long and challenging path, the Christian's path is marked by faith that endures through obstacles and difficulties.
The race of the world is about suffering for wickedness, but rather, the race of the Christian is about suffering for righteousness.
We must lay off every weight that entangles us. The Greek word used for “weight” is “ogkos,” which describes a burden or something so heavy and cumbersome that it hinders a runner from running as he should. This world has enough trials of its own. If we get too wrapped up in the cares of the world or, worse, find ourselves embracing sin, we will not be able to continue on, as we will become hindered by the weight of our decisions.
We have a crowd cheering us on, and not just any crowd, but of those who have gone before us. Their cheers echo the enduring faith they demonstrated while awaiting the fulfillment of God's promises, reminding us not just to look to the end of the race where we will meet our Savior face to face but also to look at how He has gone before us and is with us. The promise of Jesus through His endurance on the cross is our great motivator and source of strength through every obstacle that lies in wait.
As we run with endurance, we must also wear shoes of peace. In this Christian marathon, the ultimate goal is not merely to cross a finish line but to grow in faith, draw closer to God, and reflect the love and peace of the Gospel to the watching world. It's a race that demands dedication, endurance, and unwavering trust in God's plan. Jesus endured the cross and despised the shame for the joy that was set before Him. (Hebrews 1:12) We are not running against those around us, we are running with endurance against shame. Shame is the weight that we must cast off. In doing so, we are able to embrace the joy set before us and, ultimately, put on the readiness given through the Gospel of peace.
As we strap on our shoes of peace, let us be reminded of the promise of salvation that is today and the promise of Jesus that is to come as our great source of joy, to grant us the endurance we desperately need. We have a glorious finish line ahead of us that we can look to with joy, but for now, let's continue on, enduring to the end and embracing a Gospel Peace that encourages others to join us in this race. The race that leads to eternal life.