Hebrews 11:39-12:1 “These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect. 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.”
The entire chapter of Hebrews 11 reads like a Memorial Wall, A Who's Who of Old Testament Heroes, literally a parade of VIP's. In verses 33-35, the writer highlighted those who by faith subdued kingdoms, stopped the mouths of lions, and escaped the edge of the sword. God mentioned "others" who were tortured and killed, those for whom sudden reprieves never came. Every single one of these personages, with all their accomplishments for God, lived for one thing – to see the Savior. All had acted and lived in faith.
But do you think they were disappointed to miss the arrival of the Messiah? No, as soon as they stepped into heaven and into the presence of God, they were surrounded by the chorus of angels, and they knew their prayers were answered. The burdens we carry, the tears we shed, the sorrows we experience—God knows it all, and he has assembled a great and mighty host of experienced witnesses to cheer us on to victory. We can run our race with joy and peace, knowing his ways are perfect and heaven is near.
Run your race. Keep going, don't quit. Heaven is watching.
God, thank you for your encouragement and the knowledge that others have gone before me. Thank you that heaven is waiting for me. Give me strength to continue the path that you placed me on and to continue to reach others with the good news of the gospel. In Jesus' name. Amen.