“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
Endurance is such a great word but often difficult to live. What I am finding is that people are tired. Change has certainly hit our lives, and through change processes, we go through multiple spiritual, psychological, and emotional phases. These phases range from response to encouragement to discouragement and to recovery, each having its own pull of energy on us in different ways. In order to endure and to stay in the race, God has called us to live with active participation. I’ve thought about the following from Hebrews 12:
- While the world around me is responding or reacting, my eyes need to be focused or fixed upon Christ and His work, and to care for His world.
- Removing the sin that so easily entangles me (fear, worry, anger, discord) is a starting point for my own self-reflection in order to listen and speak with others.
- Find joy in the hardship. Christ found the greatest joy in his greatest challenge - the cross. In it (no matter what “it” is) I can find joy in Christ the person and purpose of who he is forming me to be.
Maybe a simpler way to say it is:
Get a view that looks towards Christ and the future, while removing the entanglements, so that you can be an example of joy in the journey of endurance.