by Pastor Heiden Ratner
Aug. 25th, 2023

“These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.” – Hebrews 11:13


One of the metaphors the Bible often uses to describe the Christian life is a race (Heb. 12:1-2, 1 Cor. 9:24-27, 2 Tim. 4:7). Picture a baton passing moment from Abel to Noah, and Noah to Abraham, and Sarah to Isaac, and thousands of years later that baton of faith has been passed to you!

What will you do with it? Will you fumble it? Take it into the stands while you watch the rest of the faith runners run by. Will you return it and say, “I’m not equipped to do this!” Or, by faith, will you take a step? Hebrews 11:13 reminds us that those who ran their race finished in faith. They believed till the end, not worried about what those on the sidelines had to say but pressed on toward the prize in Christ (Phil. 3:12-14).

These runners knew they were strangers and exiles on the earth. They didn’t find their identity or their value in this world. No earthly trophy could satisfy their eternal hearts (Eccles. 3:11). The real satisfaction would only be found in fixing their eyes on Him, His promises, and running toward that Heavenly finish line––where we’ll be with God and He will be with us (Rev. 21:3-4).  

Today, if you feel like you’re in this world but not of it, you’re in the right place. Jesus felt that and prayed for protection over us when we would experience it (John 17:15-16). If people don’t understand why you’re running by faith, they also didn’t understand why Abel brought his best offering, Noah built an ark, and why Abraham and Sarah believed God after all those years of waiting. You might feel like a stranger on earth but know you’re no stranger to Him. He’s cheering you on and empowering you to press on. Keep your head up, eyes fixed, and–by faith–run hard till the end! 


Father, thank You for the call to not only walk by faith, but run the race by faith. Not everyone understands this call, nor do they need to. I ask that You give me the strength to continue pressing on, fixing my eyes on Jesus, and pressing on toward the eternal prize in Heaven. I cannot do it without You, but I’m thankful for the reassurance that You will complete the work You started in me. Let’s keep runnin! In Jesus’ name, amen!

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