Day 4: What are you looking at?
Religious faith can burn us out without the ignition of the resurrected Jesus whose Spirit is at large. Forgetting this means that sometimes we all need a team talk. Here Paul writes to the Hebrew Christians who may have been considering a return to Judaism, a people requiring reassurance of the supremacy of Christ.
Reflect: I do not find perseverance easy. Although I don't like to admit it, I moan when the weather is not great on a camping trip or if I have just had to get on with things in the present when I would rather wave a magic wand instead of undergoing a process of endurance. In today's passage, Paul basically tells me to pull myself together.
You are probably reading this because at some point in your life you had an experience of the resurrected Christ, and you knew that walking away from the love of God was not an option. In your best moments, you know this to be true yet in your worst you blame him for planting the seed of faith in you in the first place. When we embraced the storyline of life in Christ, we accepted the author of our faith too. But did you count the cost? To be honest, I don't even think we can in those early days, like a couple on their wedding day who have no concept of the twists and turns that lie ahead.
So now we might find ourselves needing this author to perfect us, to mould us, to steer us through more difficult days; days when we see illness, days when we see and make bad choices, days when we look at the progress of others on social media and rate our self-worth as a result. I wonder what you are looking at today?
I believe there is joy up ahead. The road may not be as easy as I wished, and it can be heart-breaking when God does not answer prayers like I wished he would. But I need to look ahead, not at these moments. I need to fix my eyes on the one who fixed his own upon the Father's knowing. I need to run my race, whatever hinderance is in my lane on the track, be it shame or perseverance. Endurance whatever the weather. Are you ready?
Prayer: Jesus, author and perfecter of my faith, help me to keep my eyes on you today. Amen.