Hebrews 12:1-3-1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
To talk about perseverance, the writer of Hebrews talks about a race. It is a great analogy because a race has a beginning, and it has an ending. People who “run the race,” run the entire race. They don’t just start. They finish. People who don’t finish the race, haven’t “run the race.” They have just run. What is the point of that? To run just to run with no reward to show for the effort? Count me out. I want to run for whatever the finish line holds.
- We persevere because there is a purpose to achieve. God has a plan.
- We persevere because there are promises to receive. It will be worth it.
- We persevere because there is a Person to believe. God says you will make it.
We are here for a reason. We are here to impact others. We are here to accomplish something significant. Simply, we are here to do the will of God. You cannot accomplish the will of God without perseverance. God puts us in difficult situations on purpose at times. When you read about the ways God used people in the Bible, you read that their purpose was powerful, but it wasn’t easy. They were sent places that were difficult to go to. They were put in situations that were often painful and isolating. They were given messages that put them at odds with other people. And yet, they were empowered beyond themselves to do signs, miracles, and wonders and to reap an amazing harvest for the Kingdom of God.
“You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.” Hebrews 10:36.
The will of God will challenge you to walk by faith. The will of God will throw you out into deep waters. Don’t quit because the will of God is your purpose to achieve, and God’s plan is always best. So, we persevere because there is a purpose to achieve. God has a plan.
Second, we persevere because there are promises to receive. It will be worth it! Look again at Hebrews 10:36, “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised.”
Do you see that perseverance is a gateway to the promises of God? If you persevere and do the will of God, there are promises from God that you can receive.
In that regard, perseverance has an element of faith to it. The person who perseveres believes that not only does God have a good reason for asking us to persevere, but He will reward those who do. And believing that requires faith.
Look at Hebrews 10:36 in its full context: 36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37 For, “In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.”[f] 38 And, “But my righteous[g] one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.”[h] 39 But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.
God takes no pleasure in the one who shrinks back. It is those who live by faith, who believe the promises of God, who know that on the other side of the finish line and all along the journey, no matter how intense it becomes, it is those people who become objects of God’s pleasure. They are the ones who are rewarded for their faith.
“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Hebrews 11:6
Don’t quit on Jesus. Don’t quit on yourself. Don’t quit on your dreams. It will be worth it. God has made promises to you that He will keep!
Third and finally, we persevere because there is Someone to believe. God says you will make it.
Let me revisit our main text in Hebrews 12: And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Jesus is someone you can not only believe overcame sin, hell, death, and Satan, that He is the ultimate when it comes to perseverance, but you can believe if you focus your spiritual sight on Him, He will enable you to do the very same. If you look to Him, you won’t go under. If you look to Him, you’ll catch that second wind. You won’t make it if you try to do it on your own. You won’t make it outside of a relationship with Jesus. You won’t achieve your earthly purpose and you won’t reach an eternal home in Heaven without Him. It is looking intently at Jesus that will give you the juice you need to keep going.
Isaiah had this to say: “Do you not know? Have you not heard? Yahweh is the everlasting God, the Creator of the whole earth. He never grows faint or weary; there is no limit to His understanding. He gives strength to the weary and strengthens the powerless. Youths may faint and grow weary, and young men stumble and fall, but those who trust in the LORD will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:28-31 NIV)
You will get tired. You will stumble. You might even fall, but if you will trust in the Lord, He will give you what you need to continue to finish whatever race He has assigned you! He is the One who makes the difference!
The word today for several people today is hold on. Don’t quit. Just trust Jesus. If you are a believer, it is always too soon to quit. There is an eternal purpose to achieve. God has a plan. There are blessings to receive. Persevering will be worth it. Fix your eyes on Jesus. He will make the difference in every circumstance.