In undergoing intense treatment for a back injury that I have had for the past four (4) years, I was guaranteed an increase in my experience of pain. Therefore, I knew that I needed to be focused. Hebrews 12 came to my mind immediately.
The previous chapter, Hebrews 11, dealt with faith and showed examples of faith filled people. These are the patriarchs, these are our witnesses. These are they (some of them at least) who prove that faith works! By their examples, we should be encouraged, motivated, fueled to move forward fearlessly, overcoming every barrier and hurdle.
Hebrews 12:2 is the verse that sticks in my particular situation. It says, “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.” In simpler words, this is saying to us that while we run the race, while we deal with and overcome the turmoil in our souls, we must look away from all else to see distinctly; look away from everything and fix our gaze on Jesus; He is the originator (author) and consummator (finisher) of our faith. He brings this process of perfection to its finishing point.
Jesus is our greatest example! He endured the cross because He saw the joy of the end result more than He saw the pain. So too, we must push past the temporal sufferings and struggles as we daily get a glimpse of the glorious hope that is set before us in Christ. This can also be applied in a practical sense. For example, enduring the pain of childbirth, or to daily wake early in the morning even when you are tired, to go to school. The end results of these are both joyful and rewarding.
Verse three (3) further tells us to ponder and carefully analyze this, so that in the midst of this race/struggle, we will not become despondent or faint hearted or succumb to the pressures in our souls.
The conclusion of the matter of endurance and focus is this. We have enough in Scripture and in Jesus’ experience that motivate us to look beyond the pain of our current circumstances and do what it takes to accomplish our goals, both spiritually and physically. In my case, this means that I should fix my eyes on Jesus to enable me to push past the pain and soreness in my body for the joy of regaining functionality, but more so to be able to fulfill God’s purpose for my life.
What proves to be a hurdle in your life? What are you currently pushing against or fighting through? Let me encourage you to set your eyes on Jesus, for in doing so you will have the endurance to push through the pain because what is on the other side is greater than what currently opposes you.
Father, I thank You for the Lord Jesus Christ, who is my example. Today I set my eyes on Jesus and I push beyond every circumstance because I understand that you are doing something far greater in me than the pain that I now feel. Help me Lord to endure to the end, that I may experience the joy and reward that is on the other side of my pain. In Jesus name, Amen.
By Joanna Lloyd