I love the word picture the writer of Hebrews provides us. He says, "Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us..." Have you ever stopped to consider what he might mean? He is telling us that those saints who have passed on before us are now cheering us on to love and good works. Since we have this incredible cheering section, our extra player on the field, we can move past our bad attitudes, selfishness, and sinful hang-ups and "run with endurance the race that is set before us." While they cheer us on, we keep our eyes focused upon the complete Sacrifice for our sin: Jesus. Life is difficult and sometimes painful, but God has not only given us His Son but an incredible cheering section of those who have gone before us preparing the way for our current journey. God never promises us happiness in this journey; instead He desires holiness and healthiness. The trials we face, the hardships we struggle through, all have a purpose for our lives and prepare us for what is ahead. The unknown writer reminds us that "you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding of blood in your striving against sin." We sometimes sit back and allow sin to dominate our lives, and we are shocked when God begins to discipline us accordingly. Discipline, however, is the greatest reminder of who we are, because God disciplines His children when they get lost in sin and shame. This is love! God loves us enough to do all that is needed to get us back on the right track in life, and He provides not only the perfect Sacrifice, but also an incredible cheering section from heaven.

Help me, Lord, to "run with endurance the race" that You have called me to. Help me to find strength in Your Son, in the heavenly cheering section, and in your discipline for my sin.