Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance 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 has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. – Hebrews 12:1-4.

Robert Garside aka the Runningman of Great Britton is finally being recognized as the first person to run around the world. It was a run of 30,000 miles that crossed six continents and took six years. Garside encountered some difficulties along the way. In Mexico and Panama, he had encounters with thugs with guns. In Russia, they didn’t just chase him, they shot at him, and in China they put him in jail. That’s not even considering the natural barriers he ran across like jungles, and deserts without a support team. His most difficult moments were while running in the Himalayas as he says, “It was very cold and I was lonely and it’s difficult to find motivation at times like that.” Garside speaking of the doubters, and the difficulty of having his run officially recognized said, “It’s been a long process, but it was very well documented and it has now been recognized officially as the first fully authenticated run around the world. I’m really happy about this, this run cost me everything.”

We as believers are involved in a run that will take us more than 30,000 miles and six years. The run that we are making will take a lifetime. The end of our physical lives is the finish line. Jesus ran His race well, and finished His race well. The finish line for Jesus was His last dying breath on the cross. There on the cross when He knew He had made it He cried out, “‘It is finished!’ And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit (John 19:30).” Why did Jesus do it? To make it across His finish line, the finish line of the cross, cost Jesus everything. Why did He do it? “…who for the joy that was set before Him….”

The apostle Paul explains about the joy that was set before Christ in Ephesians, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will (Ephesians 1:3-5).” Jesus was looking forward to that future time when because of His having completed His race on earth that we would have a Savior and through Him be adopted into the family of God. Jesus endured the cross and the humiliation so He could experience the joy of having us as part of His family.

Because Jesus was able to complete His race being tempted at all points yet without sin, He is able to help us to complete our race as well. We can never do it in our own strength. We must continually, constantly look to Jesus for the example, the strength, and the encouragement to continue our run. He is sufficient and some day we too can come triumphantly to our own finish line. However, it is not without cost. It cost Robert Garside everything to run around the world. It cost Jesus everything to go to and through the cross. It will cost us everything to run into His eternal arms but it will be worth it all for the eternal joy that awaits.

(To run the race of life successfully will cost you everything.)

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