If you have followed my blog for a while, you know my fear of flying, and how difficult it can be for me to get on a plane most of the time. It really comes down to me not being in control. My life is ultimately in the hands of God, but in the pilot, and the flight attendances also…. and not my own. And that is a huge act of faith for me, and leaves me having to endure the unknown.
I am again facing a situation where I will not be in control. Today. And even less control than taking a flight. But through my last couple of plane trips, and also a few verses in Hebrews, I have been encouraged on how we can endure the unknown.
The last 2 trips I took, I was so excited about where I was going, that my heart and my thoughts didn’t have room for the fear that usually encumbers me. I knew my destination, my “finish line”, and nothing was going to steal the joy that was set before me on these trips. I couldn’t wait to get where I was going.
How To Endure The Unknown
I must first say that I love Hebrews. I am almost done reading it now, and have loved the richness, the depth, and how it so closely ties us to the Old Testament, which can give us a greater gratitude for what Jesus accomplished on the cross.
But this leads me to share on how to endure the unknown, and what Hebrews 12: 1-3 can teach us about this.
Let us throw off every encumbrance and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run the race marked before us.
Much easier said than done sometimes, especially when the unknown is seemingly set before us. And I have been thinking about these verses for the past week. The word encumbrance is the Greek word for hindrance. And I love what it means. Whatever is prominent, bulk. Burden, weight. Our hindrances can be not only bulky, a burden and a weight, but they can also be prominent in our lives and thoughts.
They entangle us or beset us. Trouble us, threaten us persistently, and cover us.
The truth is, we can’t run our race that God has set before us, if we are covered in weights, and if these burdens are prominent in our lives. Even if we ran, we would be slower, and run less efficiently. However, instead of running hindered, God wants us to run freely with perseverance, directly to the finish line.
We can run more freely, when we keep our eyes locked on Jesus, and by having Jesus be prominent in our lives and thoughts. When we keep our eyes on Jesus, we are sure of our destination. Our finish line is heaven. That is where our race leads us.
What a beautiful ending.
Hebrews reminds us that under the law, our faith was imperfect. But now we have Jesus, the perfecter of our faith. The One who in his person raised faith to its perfection.
But why keep our eyes on Jesus?
And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him, he endured the cross, scorning its shame. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and loose heart.
Let’s focus on the last part of this…
One translation of weary in Greek is sick. And that is exactly how opposition/trials/difficulties feel sometimes. Like you are sick. I have felt that recently, honestly. And loose (set free, have one’s strength relaxed) heart, or… in looking into it more… soul, life, breath.
There Is Only One Answer.
Our answer is always Jesus. And only Jesus. The One who raised faith to its perfection. We are told to fix (lock) our eyes on the One that took the lead. And to consider (think over, ponder) Him, who endured (remained, didn’t flee, bore bravely, calmly) the cross. The punishment reserved for the guiltiest of criminals.
We are told to do this so we don’t grow sick, and set free our heart, courage, breath, soul… our life.
I needed this truth. Our faith keeps us well. It keeps us alive and breathing, when the world can feel strangling, and leave you feeling like you are grasping for air.
Let us always remember Jesus.
And when we are going through trials, consider Him. Because there was joy set before Him, just as there is joy set before us. Let us follow His example, and lead, and bear bravely what comes our way. Because of Jesus, our King, our Protector, our Savior.
And as we are on our races, let us not be covered by anything but His promise, and keep in mind our finish line, our final destination, Jesus.