Run with Focus, Part 2 – August 13, 2021

While the Olympics are over, I would like to finish the conversation we started last week. Like the Olympic runners, we are also in an important race: the race of the Christian life. Today I would like to continue to draw our attention to the parallel found in Hebrews 12:1-3: 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, 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. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.

Last week we examined the need to lay aside everything that slows us down in the race. Sin is included in this. But also included are things that are not necessarily wrong but steal our focus. Next, we learn that we must run with endurance. The race of the Christian life is long and hard. It will require endurance. Despite the message of many major preachers and churches, the Christian life is not always fun, easy, or painless. In fact, an honest examination of Scripture reveals that often, it is hard. So, we must learn to press forward with endurance.

The writer gives us the key to this endurance: our focus. In all of life, we are to focus on Christ. He is the one who authored this Christian life. The eternal plan of God called out you for this race. He planned every step of this race. So you can trust His sovereign care in the race. Further he perfected (or finished perfectly) the race. Earlier the writer of Hebrews reminded us that we have a savior who feels our struggles because he lived a human life perfectly. He will help us through this race.

Your life may feel overwhelming, and you may wonder how you can continue. You are tired and weary. Yet you need not quit. Consider Christ and all that he faced for your redemption. He saved you, he will not lose you. When we contemplate Christ, it will give us the strength to carry on. He awaits us at the other side of the finish line with the wreath of victory, ready to proclaim, “Well done!” See Christ and press forward. Don’t get distracted by the things of this world.