“Therefore, 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, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:1-2).
There’s nothing like those old testimony times at church when someone drops something that you can connect with. Those circumstances, events, situations, or emotions that you can be a witness to. You can feel their testimony.
Hebrews chapter 11, the famously referred to as the hall of faith, has testimonies many of us may be able to witness to. The interesting thing about it is at first glance you may wonder how some got in there. Abraham was a liar and a cheat. David was a peeping tom and murderer. Samson was a player. Rahab was a prostitute. Moses was a murderer. Jacob of whom nations came through was a deceiver. All of those individuals are part of the hall of faith despite their jacked up, messed up, and tainted stories. But their stories are also testimonies to us. Why? Because many of us could be a witness to their stories and experiences whether we want to admit it or not.
Hebrews chapter 12 mentions a cloud of witnesses and hints at what made them so important. At some point in time those individuals got their lives together trusting God and made it into the hall of faith. At some point in time their messed up stories wasn’t a road block to choosing faith and a key reason why they became such a cloud of witnesses. For us it’s putting aside stuff and focus on Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith. God knew there would be some messed up lives. Lives of those with similar experiences that overcame through the grace of God and turned things around. This cloud of witnesses is saying to us to jump on the train with Jesus and let Him take us through on this journey of faith. It’s knowing that Jesus has carved out a path to redemption and deliverance for those with similar jacked up, messed up, tainted pasts. It’s knowing that Jesus is the author and finisher of your faith not our failures.
What’s your story? Who in the hall of faith can you be a witness to? Even if you don’t, their stories speak to the redeeming power that exists in Jesus. To an extent to say to us that there is hope no matter how messed up we may think we are. No matter how our life’s story could become a dark novel best seller.