…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,…” – Heb. 12:1 KJV
The writer of Hebrews in today’s reference scripture highlights the fact that we have a race set before us. Obviously, this is in reference to our Christian life vis-a-vis our life challenges. No doubt this remains a very delicate balance that has been difficult to maintain by Christians. In a world where materialism takes priority position and morals of how such successes are made has become largely unimportant, it has become increasingly difficult to preach and practice Christian values. In some instances the Christian is seen as a fool or worse still as a hindrance that needs to be eliminated for progress to be made. Family members are not left out as they join the rest of the society to project such an individual as foolish and unreasonable.
The scripture today identifies three major points two of which are potential obstacles and the third a virtue that the Christian must have. It refers firstly to weights that we carry. These are not weights that we can drop as they are mostly responsibilities that we have, being who we are and the relationship that come consequent to such social status. Such relationships include but not limited to the following: parental, familial, social, religious, etc. All these relationships apply varied levels of pressure on us in our attempts to live a life governed by high Christian values but will not be enough excuse if we fall short of Christian standards and are to defend our actions before the Almighty God on that fateful day of judgement.
The second potential weight referred to in the scripture above is sin. Here the writer of Hebrews is referring to acts that we do contrary to the instructions of God. Some of these instructions are general instructions that we have always known while some are specific and current instructions but whichever it is, transgressing these instructions will introduce obstacles between us and God because they are non-negotiable. The writer advises that we also avoid them as much as possible.
The third point can be viewed from the perspective of the stress that comes from the two earlier stated obstacles and that is the need for the Christian to be patient while going through all these challenges – Phil. 4:6. As much as the pressure that is coming from these obstacles is understandable, the Christian will eventually be able to overcome them if only he/she can be patient – Lk. 21:19. This is one virtue that the Bible lists as a fruit of the spirit – Gal. 5:22. An individual can present a patient disposition but will soon get to the human limit as against patience that is enduring which comes from divinely given ability through the Holy Spirit residing in man.
Most times we hear people say, “I have had enough patience” and other similar statements. The truth is that patience especially in God related situation cannot be exhausted until the reason for the patience is achieved. It is either the Christian remained patient within the period that God wanted and only reacted when God desired a reaction beyond being patient or the patience displayed was based purely on human effort in order to be seen as a patient person and was exhausted once the individual got to human limit.
When it comes to the race of life as a Christian, it will be extremely difficult to maintain Christian standards without divinely endowed patience which will come through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The tendency to bow to all the pressures created by the two obstacles above is always there but with the application of the patience virtue through the Holy Spirit, there is assurance of victory without the negative implications that we see today.
God is still able to bless with the good things of life without people bowing to the pressures of life (Prov. 10:22) but whoever will have that type of blessing must be patient. May God grant us the patience sufficient to help us through the period of our stress to the stage of our breakthrough in Jesus name. Amen.