Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses.…
— Hebrews 12:1
At times you may have wondered, Has anyone else ever experienced the kinds of problems I’m experiencing right now, or am I out here all alone?
No, you’re not alone! Hebrews 11 records the remarkable feats of faith accomplished by various people in the Old Testament. These were people who had to fight and struggle as they waited for the object of their faith to manifest. Their walk of faith was a great, great challenge.
Because these Old Testament saints stayed with what God had told them to do and never gave up, they eventually saw His blessings begin to operate in their lives. Nevertheless, nearly all of them endured great, difficult hardships and challenges before their victory came.
To let us know that we’re not alone in our own walk of faith, the writer of Hebrews says, “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” (Hebrews 12:1).
Notice that it says, “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses….” The phrase “compassed about” is taken from the word peikeimenai, which is a compound of the words peri and keimai. The word peri means around or to be completely encircled by something. The second part of the word keimai means to lie down. When these two words are compounded into one word, they mean to lie around, as if something has been piled high and is lying all around you on every side. This is the portrayal of being completely encircled by something that is stacked high on every side!
Therefore, this verse carries the following idea:
“Wherefore seeing we have lying all around us on every side.…”
“Wherefore seeing these biblical examples are piled up and lying all around us….”
The Bible is piled high with examples of people — people just like you — who stood in faith and endured difficulties in order to do the will of God. You are surrounded on every side with powerful examples of people who were challenged in their faith, yet who held fast to the Word of God. And as a result, these godly people saw God’s promises come to pass in their lives!
You are not alone!
- Look at Noah and the fight he endured.
- Look at Abraham and the fight he endured.
- Look at Sarah and the fight she endured.
- Look at Jacob and the fight he endured.
- Look at Joseph and the fight he endured.
- Look at Moses and the fight he endured.
- Look at Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jepthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets and the fight they all endured.
Take some time today to read some of these examples from the Old Testament — and then turn to the New Testament to see the many examples of faithful people who are also listed there. The Bible is packed full of examples of those who heard from God, who took His Word deep into their hearts, and who refused to stop until they saw the fulfillment of what God had promised them. Like you, they faced hardships and challenges. But no matter what obstacles stood in their way, they kept going and never stopped until God’s plan for their lives was accomplished.
According to Hebrews 12:1, there are so many people who fit this description that they are literally lying all around you. And don’t think you can only look to the Bible for these godly examples. If you look closely, you’ll see that there are huge numbers of these “never-give-up” kind of people living on this earth right now as well. You are not alone in your walk of faith!
Don’t let the devil tell you that you’re the only one who has faced this kind of circumstance, because many have gone before you who have faced the same battles and won great victories. If you’ll commit a few minutes of your time to read Hebrews 11, I believe you’ll find that your battle isn’t worse than the battles these saints fought and won. Reading these verses will encourage your heart!
Don’t give up and throw in the towel! Hard times will pass, and you will see the Word of God bring you the victory you desire. When you’re tempted to get discouraged, just remember the many examples piled up all around you of people who endured and later won their prize!
My Prayer for Today
Lord, I ask You to help me keep my heart free from the things of the world. You have called me to be a committed and focused Christian soldier. I cannot permit anything to ensnare and entrap me, thus distracting me from the good fight of faith You’ve called me to fight and win. You are the revealer of the secrets of men’s hearts, so today I am looking to You to reveal to me any areas in my soul where I have allowed something to entrap me so greatly that it threatens to eliminate me from the fight.
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
My Confession for Today
I boldly declare that my heart and soul are free to follow Jesus Christ! My worldly possessions are in my hands, but they are not in my heart. I will remain free of materialism, worry, and other worldly concerns, and I will stay focused on the task Jesus Christ has assigned to me!
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
Questions to Answer
1. Have you allowed any of your material possessions to ensnare or trap you? Why don’t you make a list of these things?
2. What steps can you take to get untangled in your heart from these possessions?
3. Do you trust God enough to release all your worldly possessions into His hands?