That Great Crowd of Witnesses

Yesterday the devotion was about feeling like we’re alone in our faith, and continuing on by standing firm in our faith in Christ. So today feels almost like a “Part-2” to that devotion!

Sometimes when we feel like we’re in this fight alone it may just be that we don’t recognize that there are others who are fighting right beside us. Initially we think about our immediate family, just the four of us. We’re in this race together…ok maybe the toddler is not as much yet, but he is saying Amen at the end of prayers so that helps LOL. Just think about the amount of strength we have within the walls of our home. When we feel like we’re alone in a situation or when the pressure is rising we need to look to each other for hope, ask each other for prayer, and encourage each other in the Word.

Think of all the people at church. There are many men and women at C4 that love the Lord and want to serve him anyway they can, whether in practical needs or in prayer. Sometimes when we’re feeling alone we just need to reach out to them, share what’s on our heart, ask for prayer, and even serve them (it’s amazing what serving can do to your level of strength…it’s like a turbo booster).

What’s even more awesome, is to think about all the Christians who have gone before us. Think about all of the angels in heaven…not that the Christians before us are now angels…these are two distinct entities. Think of all of those who are worshiping the King around the world! Whether we see them or not, we are surrounded by a great crowd of witnesses! In Hebrews 12 we read:

“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. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.”

Hebrews 12:1-2 NLT

The writer of Hebrews was encouraging the Christians of that day (and us by extension) to remember that we are surrounded by a great crowd of witnesses to the faith. In those times where we feel weak, in those times where we feel pressured to hide our faith, in those times when we are ridiculed for our beliefs we need to know that we have this great crowd surrounding us…even if we don’t see them.

I love the language the writer uses here. Because we are surrounded by these witnesses we can strip off the weight of sin that holds us down and run the race with endurance. I think about the times when I wrestled as a teenager (even though it was a short wrestling career LOL). When you get out on the mat, and you’re in the midst of the match there is just something powerful behind the crowd cheering you on. You hear the shouts of the crowd, parents, friends, coaches, all encouraging, cheering and trying to build up you, or your opponent. There is just something about all the cheering and energy that stirs something up in us and causes us to push hard and put in the extra effort needed to come out victorious.

This same principle applies to our walks with God.

Knowing that we have others around us, cheering us on, supporting us, will help us stand in those times when we feel alone or in those times when we feel overwhelmed and unable to move on. The writer of Hebrews knows this to be true. They drew hope from the great cloud of witnesses that surrounded them, and they used that hope to fuel them in their walk with the Lord. We can learn so much from this simple thought, and walk in our faith knowing that we are not alone!

I love you guys, and I’m cheering you on!!


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