Chuck and Jo Rowe- 2015
“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, 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.” Hebrews 12:1–2 (NIV)
When you read the passage above you may notice something curious in the second verse. The words joy and endure are used in the same sentence. Usually when we think of one of those words the other one is not associated with it at all. Reading it again may help to see why they are used together. Christ’s focus while He was here on Earth was our salvation.
As His earthly life came closer to the end that focus never wavered. He knew what he had to endure to achieve salvation for us. The joy that salvation brings was what He kept His eyes on so that He was able to endure the suffering that resulted. We too need to focus our eyes on something. This past winter our church has faced many trials. As we write this our prayer list for individuals keeps growing.
It is tempting to focus on what we have to endure instead of the gift Christ gave us. In order to have the joy He gives we need to fix our eyes on Him. This past summer as a couple we faced many trials both at the farm and in our family. God used a variety of ways to help us focus on Him. He carried us at times when we didn’t think we had the strength to go on. The challenge for all of us is to fix our eyes on Christ and the gift he has given us so we don’t grow weary and lose heart.