Day 25: How to run the race

Hebrews 12:1-2 NKJV “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

When we look at the topic of faith, the passage tells us that we have to lay aside every weight and the sin which ensnares us, or the sin which weighs us down. 

As you walk with God, as you think about your journey of faith in Him, these are the two things that we must do: Lay aside every weight, and run the race with endurance.

1. Lay aside every weight and sin which weighs us down. How do we do this? The first thing is to repent. But as you do that, would you also go to God sincerely as you pray, close your eyes and confess your sins.

Confession of sins is the first step that we need to do to put all this sin and weight aside from us. When you do that, you can trust in Jesus, the author – the one who founded our faith – and the perfector of our faith. He is the one who can deliver us and rescue us from all sin.

2. Run the race with the endurance that is set up for us! If you’re so busy right now with your schoolwork, your work commitments, even ministry commitments, the passage tells us to keep running with endurance.

In other words, the race of faith is not something that is easy. It is not something that is smooth. But we are all called to run with endurance, looking unto Jesus because He is the One who has died and risen again. 

He is the One who, for the joy set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame. And He is victorious. He is seated at the right hand of God. 

When we look unto Jesus, we can run in the same way; He is the model of how we should run. I want to encourage you that this is not the time to give up. This is not the time to pause. This is the time to shift gears and endure and not grow weary. Let us pray:

The walk of a Christian is not easy. It is hard to run the race with all this sin upon us. So, Father, we want to confess our sins to You today, anything that is weighing us down, any idols in our hearts. Father, we confess them to You now. 

And as You lift this burden away from us, as You heal us and forgive us and cleanse us from all our sins, would You help us therefore to run this race with endurance as we look unto You, the author and perfecter of our faith. 

We thank You for the work You are doing in our lives right now. We also thank You, Father, for the works that You are about to do in our hearts, in our lives, in our families, in our churches, in our schools, in the marketplace, and wherever we are. 

We know that You are with us and, in faith, we know that we can be victorious because You have shown us the path that You have set out for us. 

We thank you and we pray all this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Download the PDF version of today’s devotional here.

/ Reflect
  • What kind of “weight” and “sin” does the passage in Hebrews 12 refer to? 
  • How can you go to God right now to lay aside this weight and sin?
  • Is there one thing you can put into practice to run this race of faith from today onwards? 
/ Pray
  • In prayer, confess to God and repent of any “weight and sin that ensnares us”. “Confession wipes away the relational junk between us and God. It restores us by eliminating what gets in the way – shame, guilt, and fear. Confession goes hand-in-hand with repentance. Notice repentance is not only turning from something, it’s returning to someone (Deuteronomy 4:30, Jeremiah 4:1, Joel 2:12-13). It turns us from sin and to God.” (Tim Keller, thegospelcoalition.org)
  • Pray for courage to confess your sin to someone you have wronged. “If you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift” (Matthew 5:23–24).
  • Pray for endurance as you navigate the challenges of daily life – illness, retrenchment, challenges in work, ministry and relationships. God promises that our endurance has a great prize: Knowing and being known by Christ (Philippians 3:8).
  • Ask God to remind you of the joy set before you (Hebrews 12:2) as you endure hardship. Ask for determination to push through when you grow weary. Pray for strength to reflect the example of Jesus who endured the cross and rose again in your own faith journey.