“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.”
The Hebrews writer uses the metaphor of running a race to describe the life of faith.
Referring to the many examples of faith the writer identified in the previous chapter, he now advances the discussion to the matter of faithfulness–faith that endures.
Runners wear light clothing because any extra weight hinders them when they compete. Sin can “weigh” a person down who is running the race of life. But the Hebrews writer tells us how to shed the weight of sin from our life of faith: stay focused on Jesus.
Jesus is like a racing champion because He has already lived, died, and been resurrected. He sets the pace for the race we are running.
When we do, He sends us a personal trainer for our faith, the Holy Spirit. The Spirit trains us by perfecting our faith so that we will finish the race.
This life is a training ground for eternity. When you keep your focus on Jesus, then God can train and discipline you in a way that strengthens your endurance and makes you more like Him.
“But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way” (Hebrews 12:10-11, NLT).