The first spiritual exercise in this passage is to: Remember forerunners of the faith (v. 1a). This verses uses athletic imagery and therefore seems to imply that those in heaven are spectators in some sense--that we are to run the race envisioning them cheering us on. These men and women faced obstacles just like we do. But they placed their faith in God and through Him achieved victory.
Hebrews 11 shows us some specific people who can encourage us with some truths about God:
- Noah had to wait 120 years to see God's plan fulfilled in His life (v. 7)
- Sarah had to believe God for the impossible (v. 11-12).
- Joseph was sold into slavery, was imprisoned on false charges, was forgotten by those he helped, and life seemed unfair to him--yet he trusted in God in spite of his circumstances (v. 22).
- Despite miserable failures, Samson and David both show us God's grace and His plan to use them in migty ways.
(More"spiritual esercises for the new year to come.")