#DailyDevotion Struggling? Keep Your Eye on Jesus.
Hebrews 12 Now then, with all these witnesses around us like a cloud, let us get rid of every burden and the sin we easily fall into and with endurance run the race laid out before us, 2looking to Jesus, Who gives us our faith from start to finish. For the joy that was set before Him He endured the cross, thinking nothing of its shame, and sat down at the right hand of God’s throne. 3Think of how sinners opposed Him and He endured it. It will help you not to get tired and give up.
Yes, there is a great cloud of witnesses to the certainty of faith the promises of God creates. If the promises were not so great and the promisor not considered trustworthy these saints of God would not have endured. But the Lord our God is faithful and he will deliver on his promises. Our surety is Jesus Christ on the cross and the empty tomb.
Since we do have a great cloud of witnesses of the faithfulness of the Lord, the author encourages us to get rid of every burden and sin we easily fall into. So we can note a couple of things from this, because of our fallen nature still clinging onto us we still easily fall into sin. It is why we must continually stay in the word, stay in communion with other believers, hear the words of forgiveness and regularly receive the Lord’s Supper. But secondly, since we have been given so great of faith in the promises of God, we can be about getting rid of the burdens and sins we easily fall into. There’s an old saying, “If you hang around in a barbershop, eventually you’re going to get your hair cut.” There are people, places and things we may need to separate ourselves from to get rid of the temptations we carry. It’s not that we are better than them (something you might get accused of) but that we realize we are too weak spiritually not to be tempted to sin in those places or with those people.
We have a race ahead of us. Like the runner who runs or the swimmers who swims and gets rid of as much clothing or anything that put a drag on their bodies from going their fastest, we too may have to shed some baggage of our past and present to finish the race set before us. We can run with endurance as we are looking to Jesus. We look to Jesus, not as the one who condemns us but as the one who forgives us our sins and won that salvation for us on the cross. He holds out the gift of salvation offering to everyone who believes and remains faithful to him to the end. Looking at what Jesus endured and trusting in his promises, Jesus begins our faith our faith with his promise of eternal life and completes our faith to the end with the same promise.
Remembering what Jesus has done for us, hold the joy of our salvation, he scorned the shame of the cross and endured it so you may be saved from the wrath of God, have your sins forgiven, your shame removed from you, your guilt wiped out, and the resurrection to eternal life be given unto you. Having done that, Jesus sat down at the right hand of the throne of God the Father. He was opposed by sinful men, suffered under them and was crucified but he endured that for you. Those who trust he has done this for them also are seated with Christ and will we seated with Christ Jesus on the Last Day.
So when you are overburdened by your sins, when life gets to where it really sucks lemons, when you think there is no way God can forgive you now, when it looks like it would be easier just to give up and go back to your old way of life, or perhaps you think you’d just rather die than endure anymore, remember Jesus and how he endured it. Remember the promises he has made and how he is faithful. Remember those who suffered similarly to you and endured it. Look to Jesus and remember his works. It will help you to endure to the end. He is faithful and he will complete what he has started in you.
Gracious God and Father, you have shown yourself in the Scriptures to be a faithful God, who fulfills his promises to the saints before us and promising us even greater things still. May your words of promise and the work of your Son Jesus Christ keep us faithful to the end like the saints who preceded us so we too may receive what you have promised. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.