Encouragement from Heaven to Keep Going
BY RICK WARREN — JUNE 21, 2019
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us” (Hebrews 12:1 NLT).
What do you do when you feel like giving up? Everyone has that moment where they’ve been struggling with something—it may be a health issue, a broken relationship, financial problems, or depression—and they start to wonder if they have the strength to keep going because they just can’t see any light at the end of the tunnel.
If you find yourself at that point today, I want to share some encouragement with you from Hebrews 12 and give you a powerful reason to keep on keeping on.
Hebrews 11 is the “faith chapter” that tells us about great people of the faith—Abraham, Moses, David, and many others. Their stories are sources of encouragement in and of themselves. But a phrase that starts off the first verse of the next chapter is what I want to focus on. Hebrews 12:1 says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith . . .” (NLT)
What Paul is saying is that you don’t want to give up because heaven is watching and cheering for you. That’s encouraging news!
You have an audience. Nothing you have ever done has been hidden from heaven. God sees it all! As Job says, “He sees everything I do and every step I take” (Job 31:4 TLB). And Jesus tells us, “Even every hair on your head has been counted”(Luke 12:7 GW). God knows every detail of your life. He watches every breath you take. There are no secrets between you and him.
And it’s not just God who’s watching. Abraham, Jacob, Moses, and all the other saints are there as well.
How is this encouraging? When you start to get discouraged, remember that people who have gone through much worse circumstances than you are watching to see how well you’re enduring.
When you feel like giving up, remember the people who have gone before you and are offering you encouragement through their life stories of faith.
Talk It Over
Why is it important to know the stories of people of faith in the Bible?
What do you think God wants you to do with your life on this earth? Why does he want you to endure?
What are some other sources of encouragement you can draw from God’s Word?