Fix your eyes on Jesus and the finish line by reading Hebrews 12:1–3 every day for ten days.
Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.—Hebrews 12:3
Stored away in the corner of my attic is a keepsake box for each of my grown children. Tucked inside are treasures my mama’s heart can’t bear to let go. Treasures like a scrap from a favorite blankie, a loved-to-pieces stuffed animal, and (joy of joys!) their handmade cards and letters. I’ve kept them all. The scribbles with backward letters in Crayola colors still bring tears to my eyes. Only a hard-hearted mother would point out the misspellings and abhorrent grammar. It’s unthinkable to compare a child’s penmanship with an adult’s.
Another unthinkable comparison is found in Hebrews 12:3. The writer provokes us to, “Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.” The plea is an urgent command to stop the press and carefully analyze the suffering of Jesus because in the shadow of the cross, our own ministry challenges diminish.
The cup of Christ’s suffering is no match to our droplet of pain:
- When you’re facing opposition, remember Jesus faced off with religious rulers and was misunderstood by his own family (Matt. 12).
- When you need wisdom and don’t know where to turn, remember Jesus prayed late into the night to hear from His Father (Mark 14:32–42).
- When you’re tempted to sin, remember Jesus overcame Satan in the wilderness with the Word of God (Matt. 4:1–11).
- When you’re persecuted, remember Jesus endured the cross for the joy of bringing sinners to salvation (Heb. 12:2).
Scottish preacher Robert Murray M’Cheyne wrote, “For every look at yourself, take ten looks at Christ”1 and “Live near to God,and so all things will appear to you little in comparison with eternal realities.”2
Friends, our triumph at the finish line is certain if we not only look to Jesus but if we emulate His race of faith. Run the same way Jesus did—in humility, obedience, and fortitude with love.
1 Robert Murray M'Cheyne and Andrew Alexander Bonar, Memoir and Remains of the Rev. Robert Murray McCheyne (United Kingdom: Oliphant Anderson & Ferrier, 1892), 279.
2 Ibid, 283.
Lord Jesus, we lift our eyes to You. May we be so captivated by Your beauty and grace that nothing—absolutely nothing—will steer us off course. Help us run in the shadow of the cross with joy overflowing from our hearts.
Reflect and Respond
- Make a list of your ministry struggles, and write a prayer to Jesus laying each one at the foot of the cross. Pin this prayer to a cross in your home or carry it in your Bible as a reminder of Hebrews 12:3.
- Ask a friend or running partner to memorize 1 Peter 2:21 with you. Take a walk together and discuss the implications of suffering in your lives and ministries.
- Fix your eyes on Jesus in worship by singing your favorite artist’s rendition of, “The Wonderful Cross” or “Turn Your Eyes upon Jesus.”
- Schedule an extended time when you can “consider Him.” Meditate on the person and work of Jesus in Isaiah 53 and list His lovely attributes.