"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us..." (Heb. 12:2)
What an AMAZING command!
Note, he draws a distinction between "things that hinder" and "sins". I have plenty of things in my life that hinder my walk with Jesus--that aren't necessarily "sin." In reading Streams in the Desert today--I was really challenged in this area. Let me share a little bit of this this with you...
There are weights which are not sins in themselves, but which become distractions and stumbling blocks in our Christian progress. One of the worst of these is despondency. The heavy heart is indeed a weight that will surely drag us down in our holiness and usefulness.
The failure of Israel to enter the land of promise began in murmuring... Just a faint desire to complain and be discontented. This led on until it blossomed and ripened into rebellion and ruin. Let us give ourselves no liberty ever to doubt God or His love and faithfulness to us in everything and forever. We can set our will against doubt just as we do against any other sin; and as we stand firm and refuse to doubt, the Holy Spirit will come to our aid and give us the faith of God and crown us with victory.
It is very easy to fall into the habit of doubting, fretting, and wondering if God has forsaken us and if after all our hopes are to end in failure. Let us refuse to be discouraged. Let us refuse to be unhappy. Let us “count it all joy” when we cannot feel one emotion of happiness. Let us rejoice by faith, by resolution, by reckoning, and we shall surely find that God will make the reckoning real.
Oh friend--choose Joy in Jesus today! Thanks for reading--if you were encouraged, remember to share! And if you think you might enjoy the Streams In the Desert devotional---check out the link below!