It is possible that many of you have read or at least heard of the Biblical Hall of Faith contained in Hebrews 11. It is a long list of men and women throughout biblical history who lived lives of faithful obedience to God. Many are well known and others are more obscure, but nonetheless, they all demonstrated faith in God. And many suffered for it.
As you read the passage below, I want you to remember the actions of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and Daniel. Even though they were not perfect, they were faithful. It is this group of believers, hoping for the fulfillment of God’s covenant and promises, that stands before us as witnesses to the cause and exemplifies what it takes to live by faith.
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12:1-3
Even though so many faithful people have blazed the trail before us, there is no greater motivation for the believer to give it their all than the example of Jesus Christ.
This passage actually gives us two reasons to press on and faithfully pursue the journey that God has laid out for us – the faithful witness of the saints and successful actions of Jesus.
I know that it is difficult at times to stay focused and motivated, especially when we have the chance to take a deep breath and a well-earned rest. Sometimes, like me, you might focus on yourself or your own struggles and have difficulty working through the challenges of life. However, this passage provides not only the motivation, but also the method for our continued pursuit of God’s purpose.
Yes, we should be motivated by the faithful actions of the saints and the successful work of Jesus on the cross. Even more so, we must fix our eyes on Jesus, the one who gave us this purpose and passion in order to faithfully pursue our calling and purpose. Focusing on Jesus takes our eyes off our problems and ourselves. This is the method for faithful living.
I want to challenge you to remember where your focus should be – not on the obstacles, struggles and questions of life, but rather on our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who overcame all of those things on our behalf.
Let us not grow weary and lose heart, knowing that Jesus has been victorious for us.
Student Ministries Pastor