[I decided to restart my blog with some weekly devotions. I know for those in ministry weekends can be draining (though still good!), so I wanted to offer these to leaders and anybody else who needs some refreshing over the weekend.]
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart” (Hebrews 12:1-3, NIV).
As I ride my bike in the area around my house, there is one hill that I need to prepare myself for. The slope of the hill is a little steep, but it’s the length of that slope that I dread the most. I shift the gear on my bike, take a deep breath, and power my way up the hill.
Maybe I’m weak, or maybe my bike is old, but it’s a grueling process getting to the top. Over the crest of the hill, however, is a long downhill slope that I enjoy coasting down. I work hard to get to the top of the hill with my sights set on the exhilarating downhill journey.
Jesus did a similar thing, though his experience was much more torturous than an uphill bicycle climb. Hebrews 13:2 says “For the joy set before him he endured the cross.” He was able to endure the pain of crucifixion because He knew that through it He would accomplish our salvation.
As I was reading this passage in Scripture, verse 3 struck me. It reads, “Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
Grow weary. Lose heart. Those are concepts I’ve become familiar with.
But just as the crucifixion didn’t last forever, neither do our uphill struggles. As we remind ourselves that in the same way Jesus set His sights on the joy that would come, we can look forward to the day that we’re in His presence, and He says to us “Well done.”
Whatever you’re struggling through, remember Jesus’ example, and don’t give up.
Today’s thoughts: Are you growing weary and close to losing heart? What would the outcome be if you kept going? What does remembering Jesus’ focus during His suffering mean to you?