Sunday, December 13

Don’t give up!  There is joy on the other side.

Scripture: Hebrews 12-13, Jude

Hebrews 12:1–2 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.

Observation

The author of Hebrews encouraged his readers, disheartened Christians, to hang in there, to endure.  “Run with endurance the race God has set before us.”  Life is a marathon.  Or a series of sprints.  But either way, it takes endurance.  You have to keep running when you feel like quitting.  

He encouraged them to look to Jesus as their example.  He endured the cross—something far worse than anything I’ll endure—because He saw the joy on the other side.  

Application

What a timely word!  I talked with several people at church today who are ready for this pandemic and the restrictions to be over and for life to go back to “normal”.  I think everyone feels that way.  Most people are weary; many are discouraged; some have given up.  I’ve heard of a few people who have been disconnected from church and aren’t planning on coming back—they’re quitting. Giving up.  

But we’re called to endure, and given Jesus as an example and promise of hope on the other side.  Jesus endured the cross, disregarding its shame, because of the joy awaiting Him.  And He got there!  He rose from the dead and is seated at the Father’s right hand.  

When you get discouraged and feel like quitting, look to Jesus.  Be inspired by His example and the promise of His resurrection.  

There is joy on the other side…if you don’t give up!

Prayer: I pray for those who are discouraged and thinking of giving up.  Help them look to Jesus and be encouraged and strengthened.  Help them endure!  And get to the joy on the other side.