Hebrews 12:2 – Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the Cross …
I’ve been asking myself this question for the past few days. Do I know how to endure? The Lord has been burning Hebrews 12:2 into my heart lately because of my circumstances. I truly believe He wants me to live through them and not under them.
I kept asking myself and the Lord what it actually means to “endure.” I decided to look up the definition in the dictionary and of course Strong’s. Here we go: Webster’s definition of endure is “to last, persist, to suffer firmly, bear, tolerate.” Ok, we are going somewhere with this. Now, Strong’s goes even further: “to stay under, remain, to undergo trials, persevere, suffer, and the last definition is… ‘ye shall take it patiently.’ ” Wow, that’s a tough one.
In other words, when Jesus endured the Cross for you and me, He suffered firmly, persisted to the end, persevered, remained, took it patiently all the way to the Cross for us. Now, I don’t know about you, but there are not too many people I would go that far for. My husband and my children, but that’s about it. Ok, maybe a close friend … well, you get the point. How many people would you endure suffering for? And take it patiently? Probably not too many.
The difference, I believe, is what we set our “sight” on. Jesus was able to see the joy on the other side of His suffering, all the way to His Father. The joy of seeing His Father helped Him to endure the Cross and all His suffering, even His separation from His Father during that time of suffering. He saw the joy. I think He wants us to fix our eyes on the joy also. Keeping our sight planted on Heaven sure beats seeing what goes on around us and living in our circumstances. Yes, we do live in this fallen world, but we don’t have to live bound by it. I know in my own life right now, my circumstances can look pretty bleak, but I want to see the joy on the other side of those circumstances. I want to experience the joy that comes from knowing Him deeper through those circumstances. I want to live my life in the light of eternity and teach my boys that this is not our home and to live that way too. What we do for Christ is all that matters…all else is just wood, hay, and stubble.
Now, I’m not there yet and I struggle daily, as we all do. That’s why it’s a daily walk of faith, and my desire is to leave our sons a heritage of faith.
Hebrews 12:3 states that Jesus endured such opposition from sinful men, so that we would not grow weary and lose heart. Boy do I grow weary. Don’t we all? But I do not want to lose heart. And we do that, I believe, by looking for the joy beyond the suffering. Now I’m not going to say that it’s easy, because believe me it’s not. We want to be close to the Lord, but heaven forbid that we suffer to get there. What I will say is that if you are a Christian for any length of time and growing in the Lord, you will go through times of suffering, and the only way to endure those times is to fix your eyes on Jesus. I can say that with confidence because I have been there. The promise here is “don’t lose heart” because Christ has overcome the world.
I don’t know about you, but I’m going to start looking for that joy...