Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us……”
Hebrews 12: 1
In any courtroom the testimony of witnesses that can verify the truth is crucial. The number of available witnesses and the quality of their evidence is often critical, and from the start of creation there are many who witness to God’s faithfulness.. men and women who trusted God and proved Him to be faithful and true – men and women who grew into that great cloud of witnesses, of Hebrews 11.
For thousands of years such testimonials have affirmed the truth of God’s Word, and the Spirit of God has compiled this substantial witness into a worthy record – so that the Word of their testimony may bolster your faith and mine.
The witness of men and women of faith can be a great stimulus to our own trust, and these women and men who trusted God demonstrate what faith is all about. We live by faith and not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7 – for without faith it is impossible to please Him. Hebrews 11:6
As believers we have been given a substantial testimonial through a cloud of witnesses. We have the first hand evidence of God’s gracious faithfulness towards His children. We have the clearest possible verification of what God requires from His children. God wants us to trust Him : to believe in His Word : to have faith in Him alone, and so He gives an extended list of named saints and unsung heroes who exemplify faith.
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, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12: 1
The Holy Spirit calls to the witness stand a multitude of mighty men and women so that the church, which is His body, may be encouraged by their example. He calls to the podium examples of good and faithful stewards, who trusted God. He calls on church-age believers to unreservedly follow this example of faith – faith in the Son of God Who loved us and gave Himself for us. Galatians 2:20
Faith is the one element that unites this innumerable crowd that trusted their Lord. Faith is the foundation that rivets together this mass of martyrs, so pleasing to God. Faith is the component traced through the lives of this great cloud of witnesses.. for faith in God is what pleases the Father – believing His Word and trusting His faithfulness is what is demanded of each of us.
We are to lay aside every hindrance and any weight that may inhibit our spiritual walk. We’re to strip our life of every obstacle and encumbrance that may impede our growth – such hindrances may not be sinful, but nothing must obstruct our trust in the Lord. We may have to put down or subordinate what is good in order to gain the very best.
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