Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. – Hebrews 12: 2 (KJV)
I am sure you have had moments in your life when you felt you couldn’t take it anymore. Moments where it all seemed too much. Too much effort, too many challenges, too little energy.
The author of Hebrews, supposedly Paul, gives us three motivations in this text for times like that in our lives:
- Look back to the witnesses,
- Look forward to the joy
- Look up to Jesus
LOOKING BACK TO THE WITNESSES
The first motivation to run is found in verse 1: “since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses.” As we run the race, there is a big, dense crowd of saints pressing in on the track. These saints are the people described in chapter 11 and all the other Christians since then who have finished the race before us.
These great saints are watching and cheering us to keep on keeping on. They have been through what we are going through today. They are a reminder that we will surely finish strong.
LOOKING FORWARD TO JOY
The second motivation is the assurance of joy ahead. For every pain we are going through today, there is joy ahead. We may not be able to explain what’s happening now, but surely, there is light ahead.
Jesus himself endured the cross and scorned its shame for this reason – for the joy that was set before him.
It may be hard now. It may be that you haven’t always had it easy. But look to the joy of overcoming!
As Paul says:
“Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 3
There is a crown, a prize, a goal for which we are striving. God will surely deliver you and show you mercy, plus joy in the loving presence of God himself.
As Paul reminds us in Romans 8, “our present sufferings are not even worth comparing to the glory which will be revealed in us.” Live for the joy. Live for the prize.
“For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” – Psalm 30:5
LOOKING UP TO JESUS
He is not just our example, but our redemption, the foundation of our faith. He is the perfect model for faith from start to finish. He trusted his Father from beginning to end in his earthly race. And he is the giver and sustainer of our faith from start to finish.
Hebrews 13:21 says,
“May God equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in you that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ.”
The God who began a good work in us is going to complete it—through Jesus Christ, the author and finisher of our faith.
And so we are encouraged, commanded, begged to fix our eyes upon Jesus, lest we grow weary and lose heart. Keep him always in your sight.
Focus on his power and his majesty and his glory and his holiness. Fix your eyes upon HIM and you’ll develop the perseverance to live and run the race marked out for you.
“LORD Jesus, I fix my gaze on you from this day and always. Remind me constantly by Your Holy Spirit that I have what it takes to live and finish my race. Cause me to look up to the JOY ahead of me in YOU and help me overcome every distraction in my life today, in Jesus name I pray. Amen. Isaiah 43:1-28, Jude 1:24, Psalm 121:3,Philippians 3:12-14,2 Corinthians 5:1-21. Join our newsletter to receive FREE books, Powerful prayers and devotional for MOVING FORWARD in life.
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“LORD Jesus, I fix my gaze on you from this day and always. Remind me constantly by Your Holy Spirit that I have what it takes to live and finish my race. Cause me to look up to the JOY ahead of me in YOU and help me overcome every distraction in my life today, in Jesus name I pray. Amen.
Isaiah 43:1-28, Jude 1:24, Psalm 121:3,Philippians 3:12-14,2 Corinthians 5:1-21.
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This motivated me and I will run with it. Joy, joy.