While in Rome years ago I visited a giant amphitheater, the Coliseum. It was built on the grounds of a drained artificial lake belonging to the emperor. In its hay day the stadium seated 50,000 spectators. The Coliseum was the scene of thousands of hand-to-hand combats between gladiators, of contests between men and animals, and the site of the martyrdom of early Christians.

Can you imagine sitting in the highest seats in a stadium watching an event? No speakers needed. The design allowed people seated at the very top to clearly hear every sound of the combat.  You can’t imagine the sound of the clashes and cries! 

"Therefore since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us, and run with endurance the race that lies before us" (Hebrews 12:1)

Believers below are like athletes at center stage in the stadium. While we struggle to be witnesses for God here, we need to remember that the bleachers of heaven are filled with “a large cloud of witnesses” that have already faced the enemy and won their fight. With God, they faced the impossible and accomplished the unthinkable. They stand as proof that we can make it too!

And today they’re cheering us on to victory!!