This year the Olympics entry standard time for running a mile is 3 minutes 50 seconds. For all recorded history this was thought to be an impossible feat. Even in the days of the ancient Greek Olympics a four-minute mile was considered a physical impossibility. It was not for lack of trying. The Greeks tried everything; massages, climbing trees, tanning, cleaning themselves, supplement formulas like tiger’s milk, and of course the gentle coaxing of being chased by lions. They blamed improper skeletal framework, poor lung strength, and insurmountable wind resistance. It was only 70 years ago that Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile. For centuries it was thought to be impossible, but now it is commonplace among athletes. How did so many become so assured they could achieve the impossible? Everyone saw it could be done.

Hebrews 10:39 describes Christians “not as those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.” The world says “it can’t be done,” “we tried everything already,” “don’t even try,” why waste your time.” Jesus answers “what is impossible with man is possible with God” (Luke 18:27).

In Hebrews 12:1-2 we find encouragement.

“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, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith,”

Christians are made for this race. When we look to those who have gone before we can visualize the victory for ourselves. When we look faithfully to our leader, and let go of doubt and fear and selfishness, we will be able to face any difficulty with calm assurance seeing that he has already won.