Monday, January 17, 2011

Comforts from the Cross - Day 9

Consider Him

Consider Him who endured from sinners such hostility against Himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. -Hebrews 12:3

"People want to get over it (whatever it is) and they want to get over it right away." This is the nature of our world.  We have a sickness and we want to see the doctor right now, get some medicine, and move on.  Relationships end and we do whatever we can to get over it as quickly as possible.  You can see examples over and over again in your life of this idea, and we usually want to apply it to sin as well.  I hate the continual struggle with sin and have many moments where I desire immediate release from it, but sometimes God allows me to struggle.  Obviously, the writer of Hebrews knew of struggles with sin and the desire to be over it quickly, but His perspective was not like our world's.  He wrote this in Hebrews 12:1-3, "...let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted."

This passage doesn't promise that our struggle with sin will quickly go away. No, it encourages us to endure and look to Jesus as our example of endurance! "In the original language, all three times endurance has the connotation of patience, submiting to trial or waiting underneath something difficult."  We read the admonition, but why is this so difficult to practice? The nature of sin causes our struggle - we love it and we hate it, and it does not surrender without a struggle. "If this battle is so difficult, why don't we just give up? That would seem reasonble if it weren't for the Gospel! The Gospel teaches us that instead of focusing on ourselves and our closely clinging sin, we have got to focus on, to consider, Jesus!" This passage tells us that He is the founder and perfector of our faith, so as believers, we do not struggle alone with our sin.  Jesus began our faith and the Bible says that He will also complete it. We have help and hope as we battle against sin. 

Today, I rejoice in the faithfulness of Christ as He endured sin and shame to redeem sinners. "He endured hostility from the very people He has been sent to redeem so that we would know the joy of sharing His defeat of sin."  I rejoice that my faith is not dependent on me to overcome sin, but that Jesus provides what is needed to have victory over the sin that "clings so closely" each day. Today is Monday and a busy day for most people, stop for a moment and consider Jesus.  Consider the example of endurance He gave us, and strive to focus on Him as you run the race set before you!

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