Run the Race

January 1, 2014

By David Brandt Berg

Audio length: 6:34
Download Audio (6.1MB)

Hebrews 12:1: “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.”

The original was not divided into chapters, so you’ve got to keep in mind the chapter before this in order to know what “great cloud of witnesses” He’s talking about. It’s all the saints who have already gone on to be with the Lord. And they’re not only watching us, they’re praying for us, and every now and then God sends one of them down to give us a hand if we need some extra help. Praise the Lord! They are like our cheering section on the heavenly bleachers cheering for the team, and when you win a battle, they really cheer and rejoice! When you win a soul, all the angels in heaven rejoice.1

Think how wonderful it is that there are millions up there, all watching and praying for you, and lots of them coming down to help you! This is really where the action is. Here is where the big test is going on. Once you get over there, there is more in store for you, but this is the primary test. This is what the whole universe is watching—the big game, the World Series.

Since they are all watching us, what should we do? “Let us lay aside every weight.” What are the weights? The things that slow you down, the things that hinder you from getting the job done. Sometimes the Lord allows those weights for a while as sort of a test. In the old days runners used to train wearing weights, building up their muscles, so that when they took the weights off they could just almost fly.

Sometimes the Lord allows a few weights to strengthen your spiritual muscles and to test you and to strengthen you spiritually. But when the weights have served their purpose, then it’s time to lay them aside and run the race.

“And the sin which doth so easily beset us.” What is sin? It’s missing the mark, not shooting straight, not really doing the most important thing God wants you to do, which is to hit the bull’s-eye of His will. So, “let us lay aside the weights and the sins”—anything that keeps you from doing God’s highest and His best, that keeps you from being in the center of His will.

Then, after laying aside all these weights and distractions and sins, what are we supposed to do? “Let us run with patience the race that is set before us.” In other words, you’ve got to do God’s will, do God’s work. As long as you are doing His job and doing His will, it’s work and you’re running.

You can only “run with patience” if you have faith and are trusting the Lord. If you didn’t have patience, you would get fed up, wouldn’t you? “I’m tired of doing all this hard work for people who never thank me and don’t appreciate me and don’t realize what a hard job this is.” If you didn’t have patience, you couldn’t do it. “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”2

So we’re to run with patience the race that is set before us, wherever God has called us. And the only way we can really run this race is by doing what? “Looking unto Jesus.”3 That’s the only way you can have the patience to do the job He has called you to do. So keep your eyes on Jesus, “the author and finisher of our faith.”4


Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.—James 1:125


The job God has given you to do for Him is your cross. The crown is your reward, given to winners. Though many run the race to attain an imperishable crown and eternal rewards, the greatest rewards will go to those who are loyal, faithful, and obedient to the end.

But some people weaken just before that final hour. They quit too soon. That was Esau’s sin—he gave up too easy. He despised his birthright and settled for something he could see and easily believe, rather than something he couldn’t see and had to have great faith for.

Be faithful unto the end. If you will be faithful, you’ll strengthen and help hold up others in the temple of His body—His church. He that endures to the end will receive a crown of life!


God will give you power for the hour and grace for the case. He will never leave nor forsake you, even unto the end of the world. Though heaven and earth pass away, His Word will never pass away. Jesus never fails! Love never fails.6

So keep up the good fight, keep the faith, contend earnestly for the faith, and be not weary in well-doing, for in due season you will reap a mighty harvest if you don’t give up!7

God bless and keep you and continue to make you a very great blessing there till you’ve finished your course. For henceforth there is laid up for you a crown of righteousness; for those that continue to the end, to them He will give a crown of life.8,9 

Compiled from the writings of David Brandt Berg. Adapted and republished
January 2014. Read by Bryan Clark.

1 Luke 15:10.

2 Galatians 6:9.

3 Hebrews 12:2.

4 Originally published May 1978.

5 NIV.

6 Hebrews 13:5; Matthew 28:20, 5:18; 1 Corinthians 13:8.

7 1 Timothy 6:12; 2 Timothy 4:7; Jude 3; Galatians 6:9.

8 2 Timothy 4:8; Revelation 2:10.

9 Originally published April 1977.

Copyright © 2024 The Family International