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Jamaica born Usain Bolt won nine gold medals at the Olympic Games. He is the fastest man on earth. He achieved that recognition through the discipline of training—a healthy diet, total body exercise, and mental discipline. Winning in track has some parallels to winning in the Christian life, especially when we face difficulties. The writer of Hebrews tells us God deals with His children in ways that strengthen their character and shapes them into the likeness of Christ. In chapter 12, he points out that God’s educational process is designed to shape us toward the good outcome of peace, righteous living, and a rich reward. He says Jesus blazed the trail for us by enduring the shame and suffering of the Cross; and He is now seated in the place of highest honor at God’s right hand. The writer says we’ll find courage to persevere by focusing on Jesus—by studying His life of endurance, by keeping our eyes fixed on Him as runners fix their eyes on their goal. He says, “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 trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.”

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