“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.”(Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV)
When I was a child, we had to do a lot of running in physical education classes. I was no good at it. I had asthma and very loose joints. It was a struggle for me to make it to the end of the course—far, far behind all my classmates, who laughed at me. Often I was purple in the face at that point.
To get through it, well—I imagined much the same scenario that the writer of Hebrews describes in this passage. He says, “Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the Founder and Perfecter of our faith.” What can motivate us to run hard and keep on running? What can get us through the gasping, the falls, the pain, the endless time before we reach our goal?
Only Jesus. With Him in view, we will get there. Because He is our prize, right? Just as we are His prize—the “joy set before Him” that led Him to endure the cross. He went through all that thinking of us, the ones He loved and intended to save. We, in turn, go through our lives—the good, the bad, and the ugly—thinking of Jesus whom we love, who saved us and who calls us to Himself, sharing His own everlasting life with us forever. He is our goal and our delight. What more could we ask for?
Prayer: Dear Lord, let me have You, and that will be enough. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
Originally published in The Lutheran Hour on August 10, 2022
Used by permission from International Lutheran Laymen’s League, all rights reserved
1. Did you have to run in school? Were you any good at it?
2. How do you get through challenging times in your life?
3. What is the goal you look forward to at the end of your race—whenever Jesus takes you home to be with Him? How would you describe it to a friend?