Devotion for December 21
By Bryan Chapell

Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith (Heb. 12:1-2).

When I saw my son’s energy wane during his cross-country meets, I’d shout encouragement from the crowd to revive his resolve and keep his focus on the goal. I could have voiced threats or showed my frustration, but I knew such things would eventually sap his strength – even if they might momentarily spur him on.

God, who is a better father than I am, ensures that his grace-filled encouragement rings powerfully, lovingly, and continually through the witnesses that testify to his grace throughout Scripture. There the heroes are spurred on by his faithfulness and supported by his mercy, even when they falter.

As we press toward the goal that God has laid out for us, the Bible’s cloud of witnesses surrounds us and supports us so that we constantly gain confidence of God’s grace for our race. 

The course may be steep and long, but his witnesses keep us strong with this encouragement: “He is with you, as he has been with us. He will never leave or forsake you. So, run hard and run strong.”

My Father, thank you giving me a cloud of witnesses as I run the race of the Christian life. May their assurance of your abiding care give me strength and endurance to finish the course you have set for me.

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