Fix your eyes on Jesus and the finish line by reading Hebrews 12:1-3 every day for ten days.
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.—Hebrews 12:2
Have you ever seen a picture with a double meaning? Depending on where you focus, the picture will look completely different. My son and I gazed at one of these optical illusions recently: he saw a woman’s face and I saw the word “liar” handwritten. Even though we were looking at the same thing, we saw two different pictures.
When the author of Hebrews tells us to “run the race set before us,” he gives us specific instructions about where our eyes should focus. If believers fixate on the discouragements and burdens of ministry, they will lose momentum quickly. Our perception of the race shifts when we look to Jesus.
Only in Him we find strength to lift our drooping hands and strengthen our weak knees. The burdens weighing us down become lighter, and we run with greater hope and expectancy. When we look to Jesus, the race is transformed and the finish line is in reach.
We can trust that our faith will endure because Jesus is the “founder” and “perfecter” of our faith. If this were a cross-country race, Jesus would be the one who mapped out the terrain and completed the race Himself. He knows each rock that would trip us and each bog we’d get stuck in. He has set our starting place and our finish line, and He strengthens us to complete the journey.
When we are bone-weary in our race, it helps to remember that Jesus knows what it feels like. He is able to sympathize with our weakness because He took on flesh. Jesus endured the hardest race that any person has had to endure. He obeyed the Father perfectly, even through the agony of the cross. And now “he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them” (Heb. 7:25).
When we look to ourselves and our own resources, we will fall short every time. But when we look to Jesus, we find every spiritual resource we need to finish this race (Eph. 1:3).
If ministry fatigue, distractions, or discouragements have slowed you down today, turn your gaze outward. Fix your eyes on Jesus, the founder and perfecter of your faith. Here you will find the strength and spiritual resources you need to finish your race with joy.
Father, there is no God like You. Thank You for sending Your only Son into the world to save sinners. May Your Spirit open my eyes to see this unique Savior who is both the founder and perfecter of my faith. Forgive me for trying to run in my own strength. May You be honored today as I seek to rely on Jesus as I run.
Reflect and Respond
- What does it look like practically to focus on Jesus as you run your race of faith and ministry?
- Are there certain times or circumstances when you feel most tempted to run in your own strength? Are there guardrails you can put in place to help you keep your eyes on Christ?
- Consider Jesus’ words in Matthew 11:28–30. He promises to give rest to those who labor and are heavy laden. Have you been carrying your own burdens instead of bringing them to Jesus? What stops you from seeking His rest?
- What practical steps can you take this week to help you keep your eyes on Jesus?