One of the most challenging things about living a spiritual life is that we are torn between what we can see (everything around us and inside of us) and faith (what we cannot see but hope for).
Throughout the scriptures we are encouraged to look up. Hebrews 12:1,2 is a huge pivot in the God Story. The therefore encourages us to consider all the men and women of faith who have gone before us (Hebrews 11), and to run our own race of faith – fixing our eyes on Jesus.
Let’s take a couple of minutes to make some observations about our race of faith. This will be reflected in this next series of posts.
“Therefore, since we have such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
We do not live our faith alone. We are not only connected with all men and women of faith, we are connected to Jesus. He is the consummate sufferer. He did nothing to deserve what happened to Him. He not only makes our faith unfold, He authored it. My faith. Your faith. Each is a gift from God.
“For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin; and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by Him; for those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He afflicts every son whom He receives.”
Suffering brought about through discipline brings interior strength which cannot be found any other way. Why is this true? It is a God question. But in this process He prepares us to not grow weary or lose heart.
“It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness.”
The human picture of this is found in a God-family life. Children who are given lavish love and taught the principles of self-discipline by our parents are able to live at peace. Those who never learn to control their own spirits are at the mercy of personal stubbornness and hubris.
“All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.” – Hebrews 12:1-11
God wants us to be free. His goal is not a pain-free life, but one in which we share His holiness. What in the world does that mean?
This series of posts helps us to lift and fix our eyes. We hope you enjoy them!
K21 Have you ever wanted to be a king?
K22 My Authentic Heart/Authenticity
K23 Breaking New Ground
K24 Everyone has a core
K25 What I Bring to the Dance
K26 This Is Me
K27 Your Recipe of Gifts
K28 God’s Core
K29 How People Are Healed
K30 The War
K31 Warrior Crowns