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Ponder the Preposition: Surrounds

God Surrounds You Hebrews 12:1 says, “Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” We as Christians are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses as we run God’s race of faith.  And if these witnesses surround us, they must also be around us. Where are these witnesses?  They are in the invisible, eternal world that exists alongside this one.  A veil separates the two. Apparently, angels and people in heaven can watch from the eternal world into this one.  In fact, the angels – and some individuals – have stepped from that world into this one, as evidenced by the time when Moses and Elijah suddenly appeared to Jesus, James, Peter, and John on the Mount of Transfiguration (Luke 9:28-36).  As quickly as they stepped into this world, after a few moments, they returned to the eternal one. It seems these witnesses are watching us run the race of faith in this life.  They are cheering for us as we run toward the finish line. As we become tired or face obstacles and want to give up, they are speaking, exhorting, perhaps even yelling words of encouragement to us.  They could be compared to fans urging athletes to victory. They surround us.  The witnesses could also include God’s angels.  They exist to care for God’s elect (Hebrews 1:14).  Might they be among heaven’s throngs who are cheering us to the end?  In the original Greek text of the New Testament, the Holy Spirit is called the paraklete, which can be defined as “the encourager.”  Might he too be cheering us to the finish line?   Examine your anxiety, especially as it’s related to the coronavirus.  Don’t underestimate its negative effect on you. Don’t minimize its power over you.  Instead, place your anxiety before the cloud of witnesses surrounding you and cheering for you.   Don’t let your heart be troubled.  A faithful army surrounds you to help you finish the race of faith well.

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