We will be focusing mostly on Hebrews 11 and the beginning verses of chapter 12. If we were studying the entire book of Hebrews, we would notice the shift in tone, the crescendo of all of the author’s arguments flowing into applicable evidence through the faith of the ones who have gone before us.
Here are the points the author of Hebrews has made in Chapters 1-9:
Jesus is the Son of God who made purification for sins and sat down on the throne next to his Father (1:2-3)
Jesus is superior to the angels (1:4-14)
Jesus is the merciful and faithful High Priest who destroyed death with his own death (2:14-18)
Jesus continues forever in his role as High Priest and is able to save those who draw near to God through him, always making intercession for them (7:23-25)
Jesus secured eternal redemption by means of his own blood, accomplishing the forgiveness of sins once and for all, and became mediator of a new covenant (9:11-28)
And if all of that is true, then those who place their faith in Christ — in his substitutionary death and victorious resurrection and in his perfect ministry as High Priest and mediator — receive forgiveness of sins, his promise of rest, access to his throne, and a living hope that propels them forward on a race set before them.
Open up your Bible (or search it on the web) Hebrews 10: 32-39 and Hebrews 12:1-4.
The author of Hebrews compares the life of a believer to a race. This is important to understand because our expectations are shaped by how we believe our lives should go. If life is about pursuing happiness, suffering will serve no other purpose than to dampen and interfere with our meaning for life. But if we know that life requires something from us—exertion, training, and on occasion soreness—our mindset shifts. We might begin to see trials and hardships as opportunities to grow in conviction, holiness, and fellowship with Christ in order to sustain a healthy pace. With our eyes fixed on our goal, we throw off what entangles us and exercise our faith in Christ through endurance.
Which part of today’s text was particularly challenging? Confess your need to the Lord.
Choose one of the main points of the book of Hebrews listed above and read the text that corresponds with it. How does considering this specific truth about Christ strengthen you to endure your current struggle?