A Cloud of Witnesses

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.”  Hebrews 12:1

At times when we are ill, all we can see are our current circumstances and what is going on in our own lives and bodies.  It can be very discouraging and disheartening.

But there are others who have gone through devastating circumstances and have come out with amazing strength of character and spirit.  Some of those have finished their journey and have already gone on to Heaven.  Some of those are still here, fighting the spiritual and physical battle on earth.

These people are our great cloud of witnesses.  Witnesses that God will help us through, and that we can actually thrive in our circumstances and trials.

Look to examples of the faithful, Corrie ten Boom, who suffered years in a concentration camp, Joni Eareckson Tada, who for almost 50 years has been a quadriplegic in a wheelchair bringing the gospel all over the world, the apostle Paul who suffered constant persecution for his faith, Susanna Spurgeon who spent a great deal of her life bedridden with illness but was still fruitful for God (see The Need To Be Useful Part 1), to name a few.

A very good witness of persevering even in illness is a man named David Brainerd, who in the 1700s was a missionary to Native American Indians.  At the age of 22 he was sent home from attending Yale because he was coughing up blood.  It was believed he had contracted tuberculosis.  However, he did not let his disease prevent him from ministering to Native Americans, and he worked with worsening symptoms until he could no longer work on the mission field.  He died at the young age of 29 from that illness, but saw many souls come to know God.

If the enemy is convincing you to give up, that you can no longer be of use because of your illness or chronic pain, look to the great cloud of witnesses who have thrived spiritually and run with patience the race that is set before you.

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3 thoughts on “A Cloud of Witnesses

  1. Hi Julie,

    It’s been a long time since posting and sorry to say, am behind on my RM amd other sites.

    But Im just read this and it really resonated with me in what I’ve been going through the last few months. Too much to go into, so lets just say Satan has been working overtime in my life as I was called to do a weekend spiritual prison ministry for the women left behind when their loved ones are incarcerated. God rocked this weekend but Satan was roaring very loudly around all of us who were on team to make this ministry happen!! I fell into the shower about 3 weeks before the weekend, hurt my head and left hand didn’t move for over a week. I kept squeezing my hand, trying to get it stronger. I praise God so very very much as I just knew when laying in that cold ceramic tile that my hip would be broken etc.as I have severe osteo. Nope. Miracle!

    I had a talk to do, very heavy subject, didn’t think or know if it was right untilI did my practice talk before the team. They cried, laughed, etc. Then I knew my prayers were answered and God and the HS had in deed given me what they wanted me to share! Oh me, of little faith. Anyways, what happened on the weekend was the awesome power of God was evident every minute of those 2 days! The love of God, His grace, His mercy, was overwhelming. The presence of the HS was sooooooo powerful. We may not always win all the battles when dealing with chronic illness and pain but I am running the race set before me the best I can and was so honored, blessed and humbled to be able to love on these women. Their countenance from Friday night to Sunday afternoon was simply unbelievable. From sad, hurt, defeated, untrusting fearful emotions all over their faces to pure joy, smile, tears, love, etc. God is so good. I may not always be able to do all I want but I was so so blessed to be there and experience the mission field first hand right in my community. Satan was not going to stop me or the team. Praise God!!

    Sorry so long but so emotional for me.

    Thank you Julie for your words. You blessed me.

    Hugs,

    Patty

    Liked by 1 person

    • Patty, thanks so much for those comments! They ministered to me, and I am sure they will to others, too. It was very encouraging, and I can tell the Holy Spirit is using you mightily! You are definitely running the race set before you. Keep it up!

      God bless you!

      Julie

      Like

  2. Thank you Julie. I know you are running your race best you can too. Just to be able to have your blog and share with others is a wonderful ministry. The inspiration, compassion and wisdom for others in what you have experienced in your “race” and what all of us are going through, have gone through and continue to ,does plant seed, so to speak, and that is so encouraging. I know how much it helps me to read about how other believers are “running the race” and so keeps me wanting to keep it up, as you say.

    Blessings back,

    Patty

    Like

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