Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Consider Him

Who inspires you?  When you are facing something difficult and you need inspiration, who is it that you think of?  For me, it really depends on the situation.  I look to someone who has been through my situation and I am inspired with the thought that if they could do it, so can I.  But sometimes, we may be in a situation or facing a temptation and we don't anyone else who has been there and has come out victorious.  What do we do in those situations?  Maybe that is why Hebrews 11 and the beginning of Hebrews 12 contain some of my favorite verses.  They inspire me and remind me that there have been so many humans living out their faith before me and have faced the same temptations and difficulties that I face.  The author of Hebrews reminds us it is their faith that made them victorious - they trusted God would give them what they needed right when they needed it.  For the sake of this post, I will not be asking you to read through Hebrews 11; however, I highly encourage it!  We are given a list of fellow humans who exercised a faith that we can exercise as well.  Great faith was not meant only for those who we would consider heroes in the Bible; God wants great faith from all of us.  If others who were human could do it, so can we!  After reading through the list of great faith, the author launches into such an inspirational piece of writing that encourages me to keep on when things seem bigger than me.  Please use the link and read Hebrews 12:1-3.

Okay, these verses motivate me to continue on that I just have to put them in this post.  Here is what Hebrews 12:1-2 (NIV) says:
"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."
We have these great heroes of faith to look to for inspiration - they ran the race and finished well and we can too.  Even when we are hitting the wall in the race when we just don't think we have what it takes to finish well, we can place our eyes on the One who gives us what we need to finish well.  I love the description of Jesus in these verses - the pioneer and perfecter of faith.  The pioneer of faith!  Think on that for a moment.  What does it mean to you to know that Jesus is the one who shows us true faith?  A few weeks ago, we read about the fact that when Jesus walked this earth, He was tempted with the same temptations we were tempted with yet He triumphed.  We can look to Him when we are weary because He is the One who will provide what we need when we face temptation.

There are more verses that inspire me on this topic in James 1:2-4 (NLT), "Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing."  Don't grow weary!  Those very things that you feel will consume you are the very things that God can use to perfect your faith.  Jesus is the perfecter of faith and He resisted temptation and faced great trials and shares His victory with us.  Don't grow weary!  Finally, in Hebrews 12:3 (NLT) we are told, "Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."  Consider Him who was put to shame by the very ones He was dying for and remember that it was for you, too.  Do not grow weary in this walk.  The prize at the end is worth it!

I have so much more to say, so I will continue on tomorrow.

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