By: Philip Nation– Pursuing endurance seems to be an impossible task. If you need endurance, you often don’t have much stamina. But you’re called to a life of holiness that requires that you endure. So how do you get persistence and tenacity when you’re struggling just to survive each day? Let’s start with a challenge based on some encouragement:
Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith. For the joy that lay before him, he endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
The writer of Hebrews shows us what it looks like to endure through troubles. The first verse starts with therefore, signaling that a conclusion is being drawn from what came before this verse. Hebrews 11 is often called the hall of faith because it contains a long list of Old Testament examples of enduring faith.
We’re often told to learn from our past. Many times the lessons are in negative form because we commonly learn from our mistakes. In contrast, the writer of Hebrews said to learn from the persistent faith of godly people who overcame life’s toughest challenges.
Hebrews 11 presses us to remember the stories of Abraham, Noah, Sarah, Moses, Gideon, and others in the “large cloud of witnesses” (12:1). They were normal people who, when facing brutal challenges, chose to believe in a grace-giving God. Their faithfulness is a great encouragement for every challenge you currently face.
Philip Nation serves as pastor of First Baptist Church of Bradenton, Florida and frequently speaks at churches and conferences. He earned a Master of Divinity from Beeson Divinity School and a Doctor of Ministry from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. In 2010-2012, Philip was the national spokesperson for the Back to Church Sunday campaign from Outreach. He is author of several books including Pursuing Holiness: Applications from James.
Excerpted from Pursuing Holiness: Applications from James. Published by LifeWay Press®. © 2018 Philip Nation. Used by permission.