What Are You Looking At?

“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 (NIV)

I recall learning to drive using the family car. It was a black 1953 Buick Special. On the highway I tried to line up the outer edge of the driver’s front fender with the center line on the highway. I found this did not work well because I was constantly overcorrecting with the steering wheel. Only when I looked farther down the highway was I able to keep the car safely in my lane of traffic.

The point made in our verses today is that Jesus endured the cross by looking down the road at the final result of His suffering. The long term view stabilizes us as we endure the trials of the present. Looking too much at today’s suffering can blur the glory that is to come.

We need to look at the glorious future promised to believers and described in various parts of Scripture especially the book of the Revelation. The authors of Scripture struggled to find words acceptable to encompass the glory of our Father’s home and our home for eternity.

Believer, when you find yourself becoming weary, try lifting your eyes up from the present and gaze on your final goal for a time by reading about our glorious future promised in Scripture. Read Revelation 21-22; John 14-17; 1 Peter 1 and other Scriptures to lift your eyes to the glories we shall share forever when all tears are wiped from our eyes. All pain, sorrow, suffering will cease. We shall live forever with the saints of all ages and our Good Shepherd shall be at the center of heaven.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 (NIV)

“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, 
with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel 
and with the trumpet call of God,
and the dead in Christ will rise first. 
After that, we who are still alive and are left 
will be caught up together with them in the clouds 
to meet the Lord in the air.
And so we will be with the Lord forever. 
Therefore encourage one another with these words.”

May you look at your future as a child of God. Continue to live in the present with an eye to your eternal home and the joys waiting for all who love the Lord Jesus Christ. We will certainly inherit all that our Redeemer purchased for His people.

Join all the glorious names
Of wisdom, love, and pow’r,
That ever mortals knew,
That angels ever bore:
All are too weak to speak His worth,
To poor to set my Savior forth.

Great Prophet of my God,
My tongue would bless Thy name,
By Thee the joyful news
Of our salvation came,
The joyful news of sins forgiv’n,
Of hell subdued, and peace with Heav’n.

Jesus, my great High Priest,
Offered His blood, and died;
My guilty conscience seeks
No sacrifice beside;
The pow’r of His atoning blood
Has won acceptance with my God.

Thou art my Counselor,
My Pattern, and my Guide,
And Thou my Shepherd art;
Oh, keep me near Thy side;
Nor let my feet e’er turn astray
To wander in the crooked way.

My dear almighty Lord,
My Conqu’ror and my King,
Thy scepter and Thy sword,
Thy reigning grace I sing:
Thine is the pow’r; behold, I sit
In willing bonds beneath Thy feet.

– Isaac Watts

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