New Beginnings

Many things can be said today and many of which are relevant. I will not burden you with tales of 2022 or let’s do it better this year jargon. Instead, I come to give you encouragement and a calling to add to your already lengthy resolutions. Hebrews 12:1-2 is an amazing passage that sometimes is overlooked for its importance. We could easily go over the rest of the chapter however that would be a long-winded post. Let’s look at the first two and then decide, shall we?

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12:1-2

This Scripture calls us to hope, to perseverance, and to a higher calling. It starts with an encouraging word: we have memories and testimonies of those who have gone on before us to help us endure our trials. For me, that list includes but is not limited to Bonhoeffer, Wycliffe, Corrie Ten Boom, Elizabeth Elliot, Susanna Wesley, and many many more. These heroes of the faith who have gone on and left their legacy were average humans like you and me who decided to act courageously in the face of adversity. Even more so when you see their circumstances and you admire their bravery, it gives one courage to keep going in our times of trouble with tyranny, technocracy, AI, and so much more. The verses go on to call us to lay aside our sins and our grief and our guilt to run the hardest we can but to do so with patience as we look on our blessed Saviour the author and finisher. Let me stop right there and dive into those two words: author and finisher. What do they mean? You may have heard an abbreviated explanation before but let me go a bit further. The Greek word for author means prince; pioneer; author. This gives me great hope as we have him for an example to look because He has ran the race. He was in the fight with us. Secondly, the finisher is a Greek derivative from a word meaning perfector. This means that not only did He run the race but He did it perfectly in first place, best time, etc. That gives me hope. There is a Scripture that parallels nicely with this passage:

And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

Romans 5:3-5

So, if we have trials this year, let us rejoice in them. It is only God bringing us through the fire of purification. The goldsmith refines his piece in the fire until he can see his reflection. Jesus brings us trials in order for us to grow. When you ask for wisdom, strength, perseverance, courage, etc. expect God to give you circumstances to exercise that. I leave you with one more word.

1Ti 6:12 and 2Ti 4:7

Remember to think on these things…

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Philippians 4:8

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