Have you ever seen a relay or ever been a part of one? Is the race over when the first person completes his leg of the race? How about the second or third? No. The race isn’t complete until the last leg of the race is complete and final person crosses the finish line.
In a relay, does the person who completes the first leg of the race celebrate after he ran his part? Usually, the first, second and third leg of the race gathers at the finish line watching in anticipation, cheering the person in the fourth leg on to the finish line. It’s crazy loud and rejoicing is happening!
Hebrews 11:39-12:2 talks about a race and in the previous verses of Hebrews 11, the Scriptures speak of our Heroes of the Faith who went before us like Abraham, Sarah, and Noah.
It’s interesting though in verse 40 that it says,
“For God had better things in mind for us that would also benefit them, for they can’t receive the prize at the end of the race until we finish the race.”
Since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off everything that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus on whom our faith depends from start to finish.
I’ve read these verses hundreds of times and it’s the first time I caught verse 40, “they can’t receive the prize at the end of the race until we finish the race!” I am not for sure all of what this means, but it reveals that I am a part of the relay team that had some studs on it: Noah, Sarah, Abraham!
I could play a pivotal role and am a part of the Heroes of Faith team and they are watching in anticipation as I run either the 3rd or 4th leg! Could we be living in the days, that we are the fourth leg and we are running towards the finish line?
What if I trip? What if I fall? Have I lost? NO! Notice that there is no1st/2nd/3rd place–it says until we finish the race. It’s not about being #1–it’s about FINISHING and finishing well.
This is why in Hebrews 12:1-2 it says strip off every weight–the more sin we have, the slower we go. Those who have gone before us it seems see each struggle, every hiccup, every joy and every pain and through the midst of it all are cheering us on!
Don’t give up! You may not be the best athlete, but now is your opportunity to RUN with Endurance! Run to Finish Strong! Isn’t it awesome that we don’t just get to read about our Heroes of the Faith, but we are actually a part of the story! The story, in the end, we know who wins, but we get a chance to run this life of faith with endurance and we will never know until Jesus returns what simple part we may play.
Who knows, when everything is said and done, just as we are in awe of the Heroes of Faith who went before us, they may be very well in awe of how you are making Jesus famous! So DON’T GIVE UP! Keep your eyes on Jesus!!