“Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. For the joy that lay before him, he endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” – Hebrews 12:1-2 CSB
When we hear the word “faith”, we may not realize the strength behind that word. We often look to the great saints of old or perhaps other saints we know and whom we deeply respect, as our examples of faith.
However, as Christians, we often don’t think to look to Christ as our great example when it comes to faith, especially faith in the midst of challenging circumstances.
You and I are plagued with trials in this life. In fact, we are promised to experience such all throughout Scripture. Maybe you are walking though a stressful season at work with a difficult boss or co-worker, maybe you’re having a difficult pregnancy, estranged from a relative or longtime friend, maybe you’re struggling in holding onto your faith altogether. You find yourself trying your best in the midst of these challenges, but find that you are losing steam and trying as hard as possible to hold onto Jesus in your life. I’m paraphrasing here, but I heard a sermon recently from Paul Washer where he said something rather striking. He essentially said it’s not so much us holding onto Christ but Christ holding onto us.
How wondrously encouraging!
Perhaps that is much of the difficulty you and I face outside of the trials themselves. If we were to maintain proper focus, especially during difficult seasons, we would experience all the more joy, freedom, peace and heartiness we were meant to. Reason being, by ourselves, we are woefully inadequate to withstand the temptations and trials of the world by our own steam. That is why we need Christ!
We have the eternal son of God who has already overcome the world as our Lord, Savior, and Great High Priest. He has conquered Satan, death, and sinful flesh. One day He is coming back to make plain His cosmic victory and bring His children home to their true country and eternal state!
We serve the King of kings and Lord of lords. The unblemished lamb of God and Lion of Judah! We ought keep our eyes fixed on Him, the Victorious One, and not our trials. We do this by steeping ourselves in His word. By continuous fellowship with other believers. Further, by knowing the word of God, we can know the will of God and the power of God, and in all this, we also come to know the heart of God.
By staying saturated in the word of God, prayer and fellowship – this is how we keep our eyes fixed upon Him and not the trials! This is how we can keep in view our victory in Christ, even while we are in the dark valley of doubt.
Not that we ignore the difficult things that are happening, but rather we are fixated on the One who has overcome not only the world but our earthly trials too! For He is sovereign and He reigns over all, and we His subjects know and can take comfort that He has the final word on all matters and we can take further heart that He will make good on His promises as He always has and always does. For this life is only temporary.
We have a far more beautiful eternity to look forward to.