A Cloud of Witnesses (Devotional)

Phyllis Nissila

cloudsI was pressed with worry and unfinished business. I sat in my chair praying for comfort and clarity.

As the mind’s eye perceives, I suddenly “saw” myself in the same chair but now in an open, airy space where a vast circle of people surrounded me—in a cloud, as it were. I sensed their love. In the way of imagination I also sensed they were cheering me on and that  they were saints who were now with the Lord.  

A Scripture came to mind: “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud (nephos: multitude) of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1, NASB).

I pondered this.

Hope welled.

“Thank you,” I whispered…

Years before during a worship service I had imagined a similar “cloud of witnesses.” This time they—we—surrounded Jesus as He stood before His accusers that Friday morning, His blood already etching the first words of our redemption on sacred ground.

I imagined, no, hoped, that somehow He sensed the love that each from his/her era extended to Him for comfort in His solitary travail, suffering from which Perfect Justice had to turn aside so that Perfect Love, in an extraordinary act of Perfect Propitiation for our sins, could be accomplished.

A sacrifice about which Jesus, understanding the horror ahead, the utter and necessary abandonment, had said, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done”[1], a sacrifice made  for you and for me—and all the others “in the cloud” and on the ground.

I pondered this.

Gratitude welled.

“Thank You,” I whispered…

I hope today that whatever corner of dilemma you may be in, you will sense me, here, cheering you on and extending my love.

But more importantly, I pray you will sense the greatest love of all. Put another way: “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13, NIV).

I hope today you will ponder the love of the Friend Made Flesh, Jesus, and that you will let Him restore you.


[1] Luke 22:42, NIV

Picture from the public domain

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4 Responses to A Cloud of Witnesses (Devotional)

  1. Cathy says:

    No greeter love, than Christ dying for us as a Propitiation, through Faith in his blood!

    Just a side note, when I was on an Excatholic blog, the RC Apologist tried to use A Great White Cloud in Revelation…as evidence of “Communion with The Dead!”
    NO, No, No……We do not speak to the Dead (No Necromancy) PLUS, there is no sorrow and pain in heaven, in which the World has an abundance of !!!

    Beautiful Devotional, He is our Everlasting Father! Sister In Christ, Cathy


    • pnissila says:

      Hi, Cathy :).
      There is such power in the Word of God that counterfeits continually try to co-opt it for control over people. We need to remain diligent in our defense of the truth. Thanks for your diligence.


      • Cathy says:

        Last night I watched a broadcast from Spain, who had International guests from Canada and London. These people were talking about the “Old Instiitutions” falling before our very eyes…RCC and the British Monarchy. These institutions Controlled and Killed many people. Mainly, the Vatican, and with the Papal Resignation of Benedict XI—People are too smart and are awakening to the False Murderous Control!
        These people blamed the Monarchy for murdering 40,000+ Indian children, in PAST History. We know the Christians , millions, murdered by the ” Catholic Inquisition!”
        This could be Prophecy Fullfilled!! —A Pope has not retired for 600 years, Malachy’s Prophecy, 2 bolts of lightning strike St. PetersBasilica after announcement! Too Weird!


      • pnissila says:

        Yes, amazing and extraordinarily sad what people have done in the name of Christ who have nothing to do with the message of the true Gospel. And yes, what will happen now in the papacy is very, very interesting, in light of prophecy, especially so for us millions of former Catholics.


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