Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.
Those who have run the race before us, those great heroes of the faith we love and celebrate, look onward towards us at the finish line cheering us on. The call to run and endure is a call to discipline ourselves so that we may last the entire race. Just as those who train for marathons train for months to condition their bodies, so to do we condition our spirits so that temptation and sin may not drag us down.
And Jesus is our coach who pushes us past what we thought were our limits and encourages us to grow at every step. We may not always like his discipline, but it is for our good in order that we may share his holiness and produce the fruit of righteousness upon which our salvation depends. Just as it is useless to have a personal trainer and listen to none of their advice or do anything they suggest, so too is a disobedient Christian stagnant in their own growth.