“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” (Hebrews 12:1-2, ESV).
We can be hindered in our race of faith by “sin which clings so closely.” As we run the race of faith, the enemy will stick his foot out to make us stumble. This often happens after our greatest times of victory. One moment we think, “God is on the move! Now I’ll see His promise come to pass,” but then our situation turns in the opposite direction, tripping up our faith. We’re left thinking, “Lord, I thought this was my breakthrough. Now things are worse than ever.”
So, where is our hope? We find it at the verse’s end: “Let us run with endurance the race [God has] set before us” (12:1). Though our circumstances cause us to doubt and we are easily tripped up by sin, the race we’re in is about endurance. We are instructed to endure by keeping our eyes on Jesus. Our race isn’t about mustering up enough faith—we can’t muster anything on our own. We must look to Jesus to supply us with faith, for He is “the founder and perfecter of our faith” (12:2).
What a wonderful thing: Christ initiates faith in our hearts! Long before He called us to run our particular race, the thought was in His mind, “I want to see this done.” He initiated faith in us and set us on a race to see His purposes accomplished.
Tell me, what has happened to the faith God planted in your heart? Do you feel it has died? Are you weary after stumbling so many times? Friend, do not despair! God has promised to initiate faith in you, and that includes reigniting the faith you have known. “So then faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17, ESV).
If your promise has not yet been fulfilled, be assured that God is at work “perfecting your faith.”