August 14, 2012
“Therefore, 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. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” — Hebrews 12:1-2 (NIV)
As a former track and field athlete, the track and field events of the Olympic Games quite naturally held my attention. Whether it is the sprints or the long distance events, one thing you would notice is the focus of the athletes. Their eyes are fixed on the finish line.
They cannot afford to take our eyes away from the finish line even for a nano-second. It would slow them down, or even cause them to trip and fall, thus allowing others to catch up and overtake them.
Following the thought of the Christian race, the Epistle to Hebrews reminds us to “run with endurance…fixing our eyes on Jesus…”
Running a race is not easy. There are distractions, discomforts, discouragements and obstacles along the way. It requires “endurance” which encompasses patience, stamina, fortitude and staying power. The race is so important that we dare not just give up.
The same verse tells us “…Jesus, (is) the author and the perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Jesus is the one on Whom we must fix our eyes. And He has finished the race. In fact, Paul in Philippians 1:6 said, “…He who began the good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”
Not only did God begin the work in us; He will complete it! We are reminded that Jesus was “…tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15)
He knows the difficulties involved in this race, but He crossed the finishing line victoriously.
What difficulties are you finding in running the Christian race? You are not alone. There are many others who are running the same race, but most importantly, there is Jesus on whom you are to fix your eyes. He has finished the race.
He experienced the distractions, the discomforts, the discouragements and the obstacles common to life, but He never gave up. He understands your struggles.
Look to Him “who for the joy set before Him endured the cross…”, and He will give you the victory.
Thought For The Week (TFTW) is contributed by Dr Koh Siang Kiang, Associate Professor (Christian Education) at the Singapore Bible College (SBC). She graduated from SBC and Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS), USA, and has served in various ministries for more than 35 years, including teaching at DTS. Dr Koh has been with SBC for the last 10 years, and has a passion for people and teaching the Word of God. She also loves to make the Bible come alive by leading tours to the Holy Land, and has led 12 such trips. To help her relax, Dr Koh likes to cook and cross-stitch.