When I finally pulled the trigger on college I was blessed with a great support system. My husband was my #1 cheerleader and was so patient with the time I spent on my studies. My best friend covered me in prayer all the way through. But there was one particular friend who was the most helpful because she had just completed the same course of study at the same school. She was a Godsend, full of experience and wise counsel. I called her with a thousand questions and more than a few panic attacks. She knew what I was dealing with and how I could get through it. She shared her wisdom and kept me going when I wanted to quit. I am so grateful to you, Merideth Middleton.
That is the same spirit behind Hebrews 12:1: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” For several weeks we have studied the “greats of the faith” – Enoch, Noah, Moses, Abraham, and even Rahab – a prostitute. They are all part of the “great cloud of witnesses” who serve as encouragement and inspiration for us today. Add to that list Peter, James, John, and Paul, plus the martyrs who stood in the face of torture and death and praised the Name above every name. It is indeed a “great cloud” of faithfulness. They are models and examples to us and they are cheering you and me on in our Christian journey. They paid the price for being a Christ-follower and they want us to know that it is worth it.
There is another in that great cloud who is particularly watching and encouraging us. Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The Scriptures tell us that Jesus is praying for us; He is asking His Father to give us faith that will not fail (Luke 22:31, Romans 8:34). He is speaking to our hearts through His Spirit. And when the battle is the hardest and we think we have been forgotten, He who sits at the right hand of the Father stands to bless and encourage us (Acts 7:55, 56). You have all the saints of the ages cheering you on. You have brothers and sisters in Christ to support and encourage you. And you have the very Son of God praying for you. Keep running, Beloved, victory is ahead.