Therefore since we are surrounded by such a great crowd 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. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
There are many things in our daily lives that can get us down, cause us to grow weary and even loose heart. There are the pressures of everyday living compounded as they have been by Covid with all the restrictions that have been placed upon us. There are the demands that people place upon us. There are the pressures of work. There is the seemingly unending catalogue of violence in society. Terrorism continues to be a threat. The pressure on our consciences and good will towards those in need around the world can be overwhelming. The threat that geopolitical posturing among the worlds power blocks presents, is unsettling to say the least and so we could go on.
It is easy to think that there is little or nothing we can do and therefore the temptation to give up is strong,. It was ever thus for every age and period of history has faced the same basic challenges so the closing words of the passage we have been meditating on this week are still totally relevant today.
If we are believers it is because Jesus endured such opposition from sinful men, culminating in his death on the cross so that we might be forgiven and made righteous. So we are challenged to consider him.
He, the eternal Son of God, humbled himself and became obedient to death, even death on a cross. Philippians 2.8.
That in Roman times was the ultimate humiliation. The physical agony and humiliation were so great that Roman Citizens could not be crucified. That punishment was reserved for the worst criminals but Jesus was innocent, sinless. Further as he died he bore the sins of the world, yours and mine, and was, for the first and last time in all eternity, separated from his Father as our sins came between them.
Surely the things that make us loose heart are miniscule compared with what Jesus endured for you and for me. So when the going gets tough (and that is relative) CONSIDER HIM.
It was C T Studd the great pioneer missionary to China and Africa who wrote these words.
‘If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him.’
Let us take them to heart as we face the challenges that this day may bring and when the going gets tough, even to the extent of loosing heart, fix our eyes on Jesus.