“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.
Therefore then, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us. Hebrews 12:1 AMP
We have a great cloud of witnesses, who have gone on before us, who led and paved the way for us, who made sacrifices, some paying the ultimate price, to uphold the truth and lift Jesus up, who are watching us over the banisters of heaven. We owe it to them and ourselves to strip off the worldly stuff that wraps itself around us to trip us up and the weight of sin that is so easy to pick up and so difficult to get rid of.
Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2 AMP
The devil will try to lure and distract you with all kinds of sins and temptations and unfortunately some people are very easily distracted. If you want to do the right thing, you need to look away from all distractions and keep your eyes on Jesus. Jesus is our example. He did not give in to temporary temptations, He had His eye on the prize and the joy that was set before Him, and therefore He endured the shame and pain of the cross. We are His joy!
Just think of Him Who endured from sinners such grievous opposition and bitter hostility against Himself [reckon up and consider it all in comparison with your trials], so that you may not grow weary or exhausted, losing heart and relaxing and fainting in your minds. 4 You have not yet struggled and fought agonizingly against sin, nor have you yet resisted and withstood to the point of pouring out your [own] blood. Hebrews 12:3-4 AMP
Jesus struggled so intensely against the temptation to disobey God and not go to the cross that He sweated blood. You haven’t resisted sin till you sweated blood yet. When you look at what Jesus endured at the hands of man, you can encourage yourself and keep your spirits up, knowing that your trials are nowhere near as bad as His. He made it through and so will you.
And have you [completely] forgotten the divine word of appeal and encouragement in which you are reasoned with and addressed as sons? My son, do not think lightly or scorn to submit to the correction and discipline of the Lord, nor lose courage and give up and faint when you are reproved or corrected by Him; 6 For the Lord corrects and disciplines everyone whom He loves, and He punishes, even scourges, every son whom He accepts and welcomes to His heart and cherishes. 7 You must submit to and endure [correction] for discipline; God is dealing with you as with sons. For what son is there whom his father does not [thus] train and correct and discipline? 8 Now if you are exempt from correction and left without discipline in which all [of God’s children] share, then you are illegitimate offspring and not true sons [at all]. 9 Moreover, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we yielded [to them] and respected [them for training us]. Shall we not much more cheerfully submit to the Father of spirits and so [truly] live? 10 For [our earthly fathers] disciplined us for only a short period of time and chastised us as seemed proper and good to them; but He disciplines us for our certain good, that we may become sharers in His own holiness. 11 For the time being no discipline brings joy, but seems grievous and painful; but afterwards it yields a peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it [a harvest of fruit which consists in righteousness–in conformity to God’s will in purpose, thought, and action, resulting in right living and right standing with God]. 12 So then, brace up and reinvigorate and set right your slackened and weakened and drooping hands and strengthen your feeble and palsied and tottering knees. Hebrews 12:5-12 AMP
As a child of God, it is important for you to allow God to bring correction to your life, knowing that He has your best interests at heart. God only corrects His own children. If He doesn’t correct you, you are not His. Just as an earthly father disciplines and corrects his child, whom he loves, so God disciplines and corrects you by His word and His Spirit. He also allows you to reap what you have sown and face the consequences of your actions and choices. At the time you are being disciplined, it is not pleasant, it is painful. But afterwards, if you submit to it and allow God to train you, it will yield the peaceable fruit of righteousness.