looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Heb. 12:2)
Jesus, Author and Finisher of our faith, completed the race that was set before Him, triumphant over sin and crowned with glory. Jesus submitted His will to His Father’s will when He was disgraced and mocked by angry sinners and the self-righteous religious leaders. He persevered, patiently accepting the unjust opposition of His imperious enemies who, because of their zeal for the Law, condemned Him to a cruel death. Jesus endured intense struggle physically and mentally, fixing His eyes on the finish line, the glory that lay ahead of Him.
When we, like Jesus, fix our eyes on the One who has run the course ahead of us, we, too, can be victorious, even when the course is challenging and demanding. Like an athlete, we keep our eyes on Jesus, Judge and Rewarder at the finish line. By faith we lay aside every weight that would hinder us, making us unfit for the race physically, mentally, and emotionally. We remain on guard, alert to the sins we tend to engage in. Sins that quickly and easily defeat us, foes that try to push us down, enemies lurking in ambush. We rely on Jesus Who can keep us from falling and picks us up when we do slip and fall. With eyes fixed on Jesus, the perfect example of perseverance, we run our race with endurance and persistence.
Are you running your race with fortitude or are you caught up in the sins—or even that one sin—that so easily hinders you? Are you developing in a consistent, faithful reliance on Him? If you have veered off course, today is the perfect day to ask the Lord to refocus you—your heart, your mind, your will—on Jesus, Author and Finisher of the faith. No matter what obstacles you may encounter along the way, keep your eyes on Jesus. Do not beat yourself up when you trip and fall; but, like the victorious athlete, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and continue the race. Maintain a steadfast gaze on Jesus who, for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross. Today is the day to settle in your heart once and for all that you will not be one who stands at the starting line, unwilling to conquer your soul. Instead, set your will to lock your eyes on Jesus who is cheering for you, waiting at the finish line with a crown of glory prepared especially for you. Let these thoughts fill your mind “When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of glory died.”