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Surrounded by a Cloud

"Therefore since 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, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfector of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." - Hebrews 12:1-3

If you have ever been in a cloud, whether on a mountain or in an airplane, than you will know that you can't see anything. When you are in a cloud, all you can see is the cloud. When the Jews heard the word cloud they would have thought about the presence of God or meeting Him. God was in the cloud in the wilderness. God was in the cloud above the mercy seat. God was the cloud that filled the temple.

In Hebrews 11, the writer gives such a great list of those witnesses. And this cloud of witnesses, were an example of such faith, perseverance, and endurance. It feels like a whose who list of great individuals of faith. Take time reading through the examples that are listed, go back through their stories. You will find in each of them that in the moment they could not see what all was going to happen to them. It is easy to get caught up in seeing the outcomes of their lives and feel like their situation was so different from us. We see what was accomplished and see it was because God was with them. Of course Noah was going to be saved from the flood, he had God with him. It obvious Abraham and Moses had nothing to fear, God had promised them He was with them. When we read the stories, it seems so obvious God was going to provide for them. That the situations they were facing were for the Glory of God, so of course they could endure.

What about for us? When you are in the suffering, it is hard to always see how it is for the Glory of God. We can become discouraged because we do not know exactly what will happen. We don't understand why. It is hard to see much in front of us. But we must remember... Immanuel.

God is with us. God is with you. You may be going through something now. You may be asking God why. You may feel discouraged in the battle. You feel beaten down. That it is hard to see beyond today. Feeling like you are not sure you have the endurance and perseverance. The Hebrews writer asks us to remember that Abel, Enoch, David, Joseph, and Rahab did not see any further ahead than we do. In the midst of their struggle, all they could see was the cloud. Because when you are in the cloud, all you can see is the cloud. And in the cloud they held on to their faith that God was with them. Keep your eyes open. Fix your eyes on Jesus.

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