…let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 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. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. (Hebrews 12:1-3, emphasis added)
“Consider Him… lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.” I love this verse. Perhaps it isn’t terrifically obvious at first glance how this works. After all, I don’t think anyone walked out of a showing of The Passion of the Christ pumping their fists, ready to take on the world. At least for me, thinking about blood, torture, and humiliation doesn’t generally fire me up for action. So how does considering Jesus’ endurance of suffering give our hearts strength?
There are lots of potential answers to that question. In fact, there are lots of right answers to that question. But one in particular has been striking my heart lately — and here’s a hint: It’s not about inducing a guilt trip. Read the rest of this entry »