Summary: EOLS: Jesus’ example of suffering and exaltation gives us courage and endurance against trials and tribulations of life.
I owe a debt of gratitude to my good friend singer/songwriter Steve Rogers for inspiring me with his song “Consider Him.” Where indicated * the line comes from this song.
(1) Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, 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,
(2) 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.
(3) Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.
(8) And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
(9) Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,
(10) so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
(11) and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Consider: to reckon up, to compare, to weigh, only here in the N.T. See katanoēsate in Heb_3:1. (AT Robertson)
Understanding Jesus is the key to the whole problem, the cure for doubt and hesitation.
EOLS: Jesus’ example of suffering and exaltation gives us courage and endurance against trials and tribulations of life.
Oswald Chambers wrote about spiritual perseverance, defining it as...
“not to hang on and do nothing, but to work deliberately, knowing with certainty that God will never be defeated.”
(Source: Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest
“When life gets rough and problems seem to have no solution and everything goes bad and disappointment and depression become ‘normal’ and temptation seems impossible to resist – put your gaze upon Jesus and keep it there intently until He begins to unfold before your very eyes in all of his glorious power.” John McArthur
I hate to run. I’ve always hated it. Running is nothing more than torture for me. I’ve decided my body is not built for it. I’d rather lift weights for two hours or unload a trailer by hand than to run for ten minutes.
I used to think that pro athletes and others who excel at endurance sports surely must love to work out, until I began listening to some interviews. The great majority of the athletes that I have heard speak say they absolutely hate to work out!
What they love, treasure and dream about constantly is-the prize at the end of the race. That may be a simple t-shirt, a trophy, or a cash prize. It may be applause or simply the personal satisfaction of accomplishment. It may be the health benefits of feeling well or it may be the goal of looking good in favorite clothes.
But something is motivating a runner. No one just runs or exercises blindly. There’s got to be a goal, because it’s not natural to push your body to extremes of pain. It’s perfectly natural to sit in front of a television with a bowl of potato chips and a liter of soda, but it’s not normal to run and lift weights to the point of exhaustion on an on-going basis.
I remember seeing Rocky for the first time and the temporary motivation it brought to me! (story) There are lots of more fun things to do than work out, day after day, month after month.
I’m told that there are two dangerous points in a long distance race. The first danger point is at the start and for the first couple of miles.
The runner has to find the right pace. The temptation is to start out too fast among the excitement and to compete with all the faster people, staying with the pack. If you don’t establish your own pace, the danger is peaking and burning out much too early.
There are those who run to beat everyone else. Usually some long lean genetic freak will win the Peachtree Road Race and they run it at a pace that would be an all out sprint for many!
Typically it’s someone who weighs less than my right leg.
But most people, and they come in many shapes and sizes, are in it to finish-and finish well.
It doesn’t matter that some natural athletes with perfect genetics will finish well before me-I want to run it well, use the ability that I have trained for, and get my t-shirt!
The second danger point is at the halfway mark. Mile seven or so in a half marathon or mile thirteen to fourteen in a full marathon is the time when runners say they tend to “hit the wall.” The legs are burning, the heart is pounding, the breathing is heavy. You feel sure you’re not going to make it.