Aug 10, 2022
Thank you for praying for our prodigals and for revival. They need our prayers, we need our prayers, and God delights when we pray.
Bob Goff said, “The way we deal with uncertainty says a lot about whether Jesus is ahead of us leading, or behind us just carrying our stuff.” I hope He is leading you today.
“Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted” (Hebrews 12:2-3).
The Greek word for “looking” is aphoraō. Thayer’s definition says it is to turn the eyes away from other things and fix them on something.
Are your eyes fixed on Jesus?
Distraction in a race will bring you down, yet focus will enable you to win. In some of the competitive running races, sometimes a millisecond makes the difference between a gold and silver medal. If a runner looks one way for the other, even just a glance, it can cost him/her the prize.
The Hebrew writer is telling us to keep our eyes firmly set on Jesus. Don’t let sin distract you. Don’t let unnecessary hindrances distract you: not the world, not the devil, not other believers. Make sure you keep your eyes on Jesus.
It is interesting that the writer says, Jesus, and not Christ, or the Lord, or King. He says Jesus. Why? Because Jesus is the name that links Him with our humanity. Jesus is the one who knows what it is like to sweat, cry, and laugh. He understands the feelings of loneliness, and rejection.
Keep your eyes on the one who has gone this way before. He did it before you. He experienced it. In fact, He started it all. He is the pioneer of our faith.
He is also the perfecter of our faith. He ran a perfect race, but He also perfects our race. By the time you are at the finish line, He will have made your race complete/perfect. This is what Paul was saying when he wrote to the Philippian believers, “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). What an amazing and humbling thought!
Jesus not only ran the race, He ran with endurance. Meaning He recognized that the trial had come from God and He persisted under it. He stayed in His lane. How did He endure the cross? How did He stay under its weight when He had the power to eliminate the circumstances, the people hurting Him, and the cross itself?
He didn’t focus on the immediate pain, but on the outcome of it. His heart was filled with the joy of knowing that what He was about to undergo would yield a great and glorious harvest. His joy was knowing that you would be at His side for eternity!
The cross with all its shame and pain, as difficult as it was, is now over. It was fleeting in comparison to the eternal weight of glory. The one who suffered is now sitting on His Father’s throne in a place of dignity, respect, and esteem.
God wants you not only to keep your focus on His glorious Son, Jesus, but He also wants you to fill your mind with Him. In verse 3, The Greek word for “consider” is analogizomai. Thayer’s definition is to think over, consider, ponder.
Meditate on how He was mistreated by others. Ponder the false accusations brought against Him. Think over the way He was shoved and pushed around.
You will see His patience, His grace, His self control, and His love. His beauty of character illuminated the night. But more than that, His sufferings and how He handled them will equip you in your dark hours.
Looking to and considering Him will help you to grow strong and not become fainthearted.
When you run, you go through stages and there are definite times when you want to stop and give up. Your muscles are tired. Your lungs are bursting. Your legs are like jelly.
While your body says stop, your mind pulls you through. You think about the end result. You think about getting to the next reachable spot. You think about the gains. Your mind focused in the right place will get you through.
Whatever segment of the race of life you are presently in, just keep your eyes on Jesus and keep going!
Love in Christ,
Bryan and Rachel