8. There are encouraging fans. We discussed the other runners but we also have fans. First and foremost, if we have no one else we have the Comforter, the third person of the Trinity who will always be with us (John 4:6 ) who will teach us (John 14:26) and encourage us ( John 15:26) . The Bible says that “He (the Lord) will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, the Lord is my helper and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.” Hebrews 13:5b-6. If we have no one else around us, He is all we need. He is our strength, our deliver and our salvation in the time of trouble (Psalm 27:5 , Psalm 41:1, Isaiah 33:2) He is our light and salvation, whom shall we fear? (Psalm 27:1). No one.
In addition, the Lord has provided us with other to witness and encourage us. In Hebrews 12:1-3 it says:
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience 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 is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
Who are these witnesses or “fans”? Verse one of this chapter begins with the word “Wherefore” which can also be translated “Therefore”. My Dad used to say we need to ask what the “Therefore” is there for. As we know, the original letters of the Bible were not divided into chapters and verses but were added for us to more easily reference the various portions of Scripture. So in this case, the reader is reading the 11th chapter known as the “Faith Chapter” and rolls right on into chapter 12. So the writer of Hebrews is referring to those in the Faith Chapter (chapter 11) as the great cloud of witnesses. I would recommend that you take the time to go back and see who these witnesses are. They are not only those that were named but so many that were unnamed in verses 32 through 40. Close your eyes and imaging Abel, Noah, or Abraham surrounding you and cheering you on in your race with the Lord. Imagine Isaac, Jacob, Moses and Joshua beside you encouraging you along the way. Or how about seeing martyrs of the past shouting “You can do it, don’t give up, the pain is worth the victory!” Wouldn’t that encourage anyone? Guess what, you don’t have to imagine any of this. The writer of Hebrews is saying THEY ARE THERE! The witnesses that surround us are those heroes of the faith, the named and unnamed, the abused and even martyred in His name are surrounding us and encouraging us. There have been times in our family’s life when it seemed we were all alone and we needed Him to pick us up and carry us. The other runners in the race seemed so distance and some may even have shunned us. But what joy can come to our hearts when we can turn a spiritual corner and realize that we are not alone and that we have fans who have finished their race and are running the sidelines cheering, encouraging and yelling, “Don’t quit! It will be worth it all, when you see Jesus!
Are you discouraged? Do you feel like no one cares? Do you feel like giving up at times and just stepping to the side and sitting on the curb? Look to your left, look to your right. Don’t you see them? Can’t you hear them yelling to you? DON’T QUIT! The pain, the attacks, will be worth it all. Look to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…“For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.”