Hebrews 12:1-2 Let us run with endurance the long race set before us. Now stay focused on Jesus, who designed and perfected our faith…
This scripture has been an encouragement and a challenge for me. The running part was easy, keeping my eyes on Jesus not so easy. I thought about this challenge as I was reading a recent letter from John Eldredge. In it he writes:
“As I fight through the battles of this world, my eyes aren’t normally fixed on Jesus. I do look in his direction but far more my eyes are fixed on the crisis before me. I received bad news about a friend who is going through a heinous battle with cancer and as I prayed for him I did not feel confident, assured, or triumphant. I felt discouraged and distressed….my gaze was fixed on the suffering.
Looking to Jesus we see him facing difficult situations with prayer, never losing his focus, what was the secret in his prayers? In feeding the five thousand Jesus took the loaves and fishes and “looking up into heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves”. When he stands before Lazarus tomb, preparing to raise him, it says, “then Jesus looked up and said, “Father I thank you that you have heard me” Mark 6:41; John 11:41
The secret? Jesus was not trying to recall something he forgot. He looks up to heaven and gives thanks. He is orienting himself to what is most true in the world. He is not focusing on
The impossible inadequate resources for the need of five thousand
Lazarus’s sisters grief (they were his friends)
Not even the finality of death with a stone rolled over the tomb
He turns his gaze from all the evidence that suggests otherwise and fixes it on his Father God and his resources. It is human nature to look at the problem before us, the crisis that caused us to pray. But the thing that will help our prayer life is to learn to fix our eyes on Jesus.”*
Just like it says in Hebrews 12:2.
“ Now stay focused on Jesus, who designed and perfected our faith. He endured the cross and ignored the shame of that death because He focused on the joy that was set before Him; and now He is seated beside God on the throne, a place of honor.
As we encourage ourselves by remembering where our focus should be, we need to remember to encourage those who are running with us. Those who are tired and stumbling, weary, thinking of turning back. We need to encourage one another to refuse to let the attacks, the danger, and temptation that is all around take our focus off of Him.
Father God help us to focus on Jesus, the One who encourages us to keep on running, even when the waves are high, the storms fierce. Help us Jesus to keep our eyes on You, knowing you love us, that you go before us, that will not leave or forsake us. Knowing that You as the designer and perfecter of our faith, will complete in us what you have started.
Help us to run and endure, and pray knowing you hear us, with thankful hearts for all You have done.
Thanks to John Eldredge at http://www.RANSOMEDHEART.com
*From February/March letter Ransomed Heart- John Eldredge