“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…” (Hebrews 12:1 NKJV)
Nowhere in the Bible are we promised that the Christian life is going to be easy.
As a matter of fact, Jesus Himself said that we would have tribulation.
But, I’m so glad He never stopped there.
Jesus went on to say that we should be of “good cheer” because He has overcome the world. (John 16:33)
Yes, it is true; life does have both its sweet and bitter moments.
As believers, we will face many challenges and adversities, which can be pretty overwhelming and somewhat disconcerting.
And more often than not, frustration and discouragement is the end result. It’s in times like this that we could do with a little encouragement.
I believe that one of the things most lacking in the world and even in Jesus’ Church today, is encouragement.
If we would care to look around us, we would see that people from all walks of life, are starving for encouragement.
The bottom line is that we could all do with a little more encouragement.
The book of Hebrews is really about a group of believers who because of their faith were facing all kinds of adversities, trials and tribulations.
They were reminded however, that they were surrounded by a “cloud of witnesses,” the heroes of Hebrews chapter 11, who having gone before them, had run the race well and by faith had won.
They endured and overcame and as such, they were there as a testimony and witness.
Well, the same is true for you and me.
The same Bible heroes that were there for them are also here for us today.
That means that even if nobody else got to encourage us today, just by reading about their past exploits and victories would be sufficient to encourage you and me.
Thank God for those who have gone before us, like Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Rahab, Gideon, Samson, David and Samuel.
And what about the later heroes of our faith?
Like Martin Luther, John Wesley, and John Knox. And we could also mention the likes of Aimee Simple McPherson, Smith Wigglesworth, John G Lake, William Branham, TL Osborn, Kenneth Hagin, and Oral Roberts.
The list goes on and on.
These are all heroes who once were living but who have since gone to be with the Lord.
And what of those heroes who are still alive today?
I have to mention the likes of my very own father-in-law, Dr Fred Roberts, who returned from America after God told him to build a house of prayer for ALL nations in Durban. He was the very first person to establish the “Christian Centre” concept where all believers from all denominations, all cultures and all races could come together and worship the Lord.
And we are where we are today, because of the seed they planted and the faith they imparted!
The important thing to know is that we can be fed off the testimonies and faith of others who have gone before us and accomplished great things for God and His Kingdom.
Were they perfect and without weaknesses?
Did they come up against all kinds of challenges and tribulations?
Were they discouraged and perhaps close to giving up?
I think so.
But, if they did it and finished the race then so can you and I.
We feed off these wonderful testimonies
And every testimony produces a witness that fuels our faith and encourages us to press on regardless.
I want to encourage you today.
Don’t give up!
You have come too far to give up now.
You are surrounded by God’s heavenly angels as well as a cloud of witnesses who are cheering for you and encouraging you.
And there is something about being encouraged.
It strengthens hearts that have been weakened through adversity. And a strengthened heart will always be able to move ahead!
Come on my friend, with God and this cloud of witnesses on your side, I know that you can do it!
Thank You Father for strengthening my faith through the testimonies of the heroes of my faith.