Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress. And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us.
We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish. a He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy he knew would be his afterward. Now he is seated in the place of highest honor beside God's throne in heaven.
Think about all he endured when sinful people did such terrible things to him, so that you don't become weary and give up.
After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin.
And have you entirely forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you, his children? He said, "My child, don't ignore it when the Lord disciplines you, and don't be discouraged when he corrects you.
For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes those he accepts as his children." b7
As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Whoever heard of a child who was never disciplined?
If God doesn't discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children after all.
Since we respect our earthly fathers who disciplined us, should we not all the more cheerfully submit to the discipline of our heavenly Father and live foreverc?
For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God's discipline is always right and good for us because it means we will share in his holiness.
No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening -- it is painful! But afterward there will be a quiet harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)