I feel tired. The month of October is nearing its end and I haven’t even created a new entry for my blog. There are just so many things to do. So many things I want to accomplish and 24 hours a day is not enough to finish everything!
I’m reminded once again about Hebrews 12:1-3 and lately He has been telling me to fix my eyes on Him, the author and perfecter of our faith. Because despite the physical weariness, I can’t deny as well that I am happy with what I am doing. It goes both ways – I feel tired but I know that everything that I am doing (ministry, work and other responsibilities) is motivated by my love for people and God that’s why I’m happy. And that’s what we should do most of the time when we feel tired of life. We need to refocus on Jesus, the reason for everything. So in spite of being tired you draw strength from the person who loves you the most – Jesus. And despite at times you feel that you have given up a lot of things (dreams even) for a higher cause you know that it will be worth it in the end. The race will always require your effort and energy but the prize will be worth it.
What’s the prize? I believe, it can be a lot of things. But for me, I see the prize as a life of happiness, hope, contentment and love, despite of – a life that is secured and strengthened because of Jesus.
How about you? What do you do when you feel tired of life?
I tried. I tried separating myself but my shadow still follows me. I tried outrunning it but it was still there. I don’t know what to do. How can I separate myself from the shadow that still follows me?
We have that part of ourselves were we try to constantly change and improve. We have that dark side (that shadow) that seems to follows us because of our past. We know that we are a new creation because of Jesus Christ but still, we see bits and pieces of our old self. It frustrates us. It discourages us when we feel we gave so much effort already but it’s still not enough – I still can’t seem to overcome this struggle.
As I continue my reflection on Hebrews 12, I want to focus more on verses 4 to 13 where the book is talking about God disciplining His children. When we hear the word discipline we immediately draw the conclusion that we might have done something wrong that’s why we are being discipline. But the discipline that is being talked about in Hebrews 12 is related to hardship, as verse 7 stated “endure hardship as discipline”.
Therefore with whatever hardship and trial we encounter that can be considered as God’s discipline. But Hebrews 12 doesn’t pin point hardship as discipline only without any reason why we are experiencing it. The answer is in verse 6, 10 and 11. We experience this hardship (discipline) because God loves us and wants what is good for us. The good that He wants for us is not necessarily how we envision it: a good job, a car, a house or even a relationship. He has always been more concerned with our character. That is why in verse 10 mentions about us sharing in His holiness and in verse 11 about us having a harvest of righteousness as a result of the discipline.
My shadow (struggle), which I have been trying to separate myself from, is part of my hardship. I can decide to be frustrated and quit trying to be a better person or I can look at it differently. I choose to respond properly. I hold on to his word that this hardship is because he loves me and he wants the best in me. He has been working in my life and continues to. He continues to push me to become a better person, man, and leader. I want to embrace that. I want to grow and produce a harvest of righteousness in it.
I pray that if you are going through hardship as well, you will find peace in Hebrews 12:4-13. I pray that together we will be able to say.
I will strengthen my feeble arms and week knees. I will make level paths for my feet (a response to verse 12 and 13).
Ironman 70.3, known as Half Ironman, covers a total distance of 113.0 km (70.3 miles), consisting of a 1.9 km swim, a 90 km bike ride, and a 21.1 km run. I know some people who was able to complete the recent Ironman Marathon held in Cebu and I am amazed with the amount of training they have invested to be able to compete in this prestigious event. I can’t even complete a 5km run without taking a breather.
Every Christian is going through a long marathon and that marathon is on-going until your last breath on earth. How to run the race is in the bible. The secret to finishing well can seen in Hebrews 12:1-3. This verse describes such a race in a believer’s life.
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and 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 and lose heart. (Hebrews 3:1-3, NASB)
It starts with verse 1 talking about a cloud of witnesses and that “witnesses” are the heroes of the past described in Hebrews 11. They are the examples bearing truth that this race can be finished despite all the hardships. But we need to remove all excess baggage that drags us or slows us down. These can be distractions that takes our attention off Jesus or it can be sin as well.
For us to be able to finish our race – we need to focus and fix our eyes on Jesus. His example should inspire us and give us the power to endure such race. Knowing that he himself experience such trials even to the point of shedding blood.
There is really no easy way as we go through our Christian lives. We will experience persecution, financial problems, frictions in relationships and other trials that will really test our faith. But when we fix our eyes on Jesus, He is telling us:
“Move forward. I am here with you helping you through. I have experienced that. Let me help carry you. I love you.”
Check these verses: Matthew 11:28, Hebrews 2:18, 1 Peter 5:7 and Romans 8:37-39. Let me know what these verse are telling you in the comment section below.