39 And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40 since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect. 41 Therefore, 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, 42 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
The worst kind of suffering is when you face it all by yourself. We all need companionship, but it is more so when we suffer.
In the previous section of Hebrews chapter 11, the believers suffered greatly (it hurts just to think about what they have gone through,) and many of them suffered alone. I always have the question, “how can people bear such sufferings?” This paragraph provided 3 answers:
- Encouragement from God. Even the one look at them like rubbish, God commended them.
- Many examples of suffering. Those who suffered greatly before helps those who will be suffering later, and that includes you. You will be among the great cloud of witnesses.
- Jesus. He is the best but suffered the most. When I think, even Jesus has suffered a lot, it eases the pain of my suffering. Furthermore, I learn from Him. When He was suffering, He looked towards the future, so I have trained my eyes to look to eternity.
These things keep us company when we suffer, and we especially need them when we are suffering alone. With these things,
pains will be much easier to bear.