Remember learning to ride your bike when you were a kid. Your Dad or your Mom would stand next to you and hold the bike up while you got on. Then they would hold on to the bike and walk along side you while you learn to peddle it. Eventually they would see that you were steady enough and they would let go of the bike. They would clap and yell out encouraging words like, “That’s it. You can do it!”. We would probably have had a much more difficult time if our parents didn’t help us learn to ride the bike. That support through physical help and emotional help was invaluable.
The Apostle Paul gave us some encouragement along the same lines for the spiritual race we are running in Hebrews 12: 1-2.
1 Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, 2 keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne.
In verse 1 he encourages us by telling us that there is a large cloud of witness surrounding us. Have you ever really thought about that verse? We are not alone. We have people right here on Earth that can support us. We have those who have gone on before us that can also encourage us. We can learn what other believers from the past to the present did to get through their spiritual run. There is nothing new under the sun. Everyone experiences similar things during their walk with the Lord. If we would but speak up, we could get advice and encouragement from fellow believers in our church, online, or from believers from the past in the Bible or in their biographies. I myself have gained encouragement from reading what the founders of the United States wrote in their own words several hundred years ago. They may not have been in the Bible, but they were believers that experienced life too. So look around and see the cloud of witnesses that surrounds you. Gain encouragement from them so you can run the race that is set before you.