Look to Jesus: Finding Hope and Strength in Life's Challenges
Hebrews 12:1-3 (LSB) 1 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, laying aside every weight and the sin which so easily entangles us, let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary, fainting in heart.
As we sojourn through this fallen world, we find ourselves entangled in its challenges and complexities. No one is exempt from facing these struggles. Often, we look at others and compare our life circumstances, yearning for similar outcomes. Sally seems to have a wonderful husband, while I find myself alone. Roberta's children are successful, but mine seem to have lost their way. And then there's Mark, who always appears so happy. Why does my life seem so messed up in comparison?
But while we are looking and comparing their lives, we must remember that they are likely feeling the same way. They might be looking at us and wishing for something they perceive we have. The truth is, we all experience doubts and insecurities, no matter how perfect someone else's life may seem from the outside.
We also tend to get caught up in the "I remembers." I remember when life was easier, and responsibilities were fewer. Or perhaps we reminisce about happier, healthier days when everything seemed to go smoothly. The lists of comparisons and nostalgic reflections can go on and on. I'm sure many of us can relate to this, just as I can!
In the book of Hebrews, the author reminds us that we are not alone in our experiences. There were others who faced similar trials and serve as examples of endurance and faith (Hebrews chapter 11). But even beyond these human examples, we have the greatest one of all—Jesus. He not only encountered the temptations, rejections, and sufferings of this world, but He also bore the shame of the cross. Despite all this, He endured, knowing the glorious outcome that awaited Him.
Let us not merely glance at Jesus; rather, let us fix our eyes on Him, recognizing that He is the ultimate example to follow. By doing so, we can prevent ourselves from losing sight of what truly matters and avoid becoming overwhelmed and discouraged by the challenges we face. When troubles arise, instead of fixating on them, let's turn our gaze to Jesus.
Personally, I find great comfort and encouragement in the words of Psalm 73:25-26. They remind me that amidst the waves of life's trials, I have a heavenly hope. Though my heart and flesh may fail, Jesus remains steadfast and unwavering. He is my strength and my portion, and this truth extends to each one of you as well. We share in this promise together.
As we eagerly await His return, let us remember that while we endure hardships here on earth, we are citizens of a heavenly kingdom. In that eternal realm, we will behold the Lord and be transformed in His presence. It's not just a change but a profound hope in eternal life.
So, in the midst of our sojourning here and facing the challenges of this fallen world, let us find comfort and encouragement as we look to Jesus. He is the beacon that guides us through the storms, the anchor that keeps us steady, and the source of unending hope.
Together, let's fix our eyes on Him, knowing that in Christ, we are never alone, and in Him, we find the strength to endure and the assurance of a glorious future.
May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
Psalm 73:25-26, Philippians 3:20, 2 Timothy 4:8, 2 Peter 3:12-14
1. How does the concept of being a sojourner in a fallen world resonate with your own experiences and challenges as a Christian?
2. Can you recall a specific instance when you caught yourself comparing your life to others? How did this realization impact your outlook, and what steps did you take to refocus on Jesus?
4. How has looking to Jesus as the ultimate example of endurance and faithfulness helped you navigate through life's temptations, rejections, and sufferings?
5. What are some practical ways you can consistently fix your eyes on Jesus amidst the daily challenges and distractions that come your way?