Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:1–2

I know that life can be scary. I know that we are going to go through things that are hard, which fill us with doubt in our abilities and our God. But I want you to know that it’s all going to be worth it, because you are his joy. Because God uses everything. Because he knows what we need.

We require time, trials, discipline and exhortations. We require sacrifice, the sacrifice of God’s own Son. We are something special. We are the apple of God’s eye. We are the pinnacle of his creative plan. We are the high point of all God’s work. We are his pride and joy. Jesus told his disciples, “Fear not, little flock, for it the Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” This is the sort of thing that gives God pleasure. It is what he eagerly wants to do. This is his joy, and it is the joy of Jesus as well.

Now, as we fix our thoughts on Jesus, let’s think what this means for us. It means that, if Jesus is for us, who can be against us? He is not only our example, he is our biggest fan. He is cheering us onward more than anybody else is. He wants us to succeed. He not only began our faith, but he is also finishing our faith. He is working for us, inside of us, and in heaven as our high priest, constantly interceding for us.

For he is a high priest who can sympathize with our weaknesses. He was a human, just as we are. He knows our passions. He knows our temptations. The book of Hebrews makes these points for us.

Jesus is not just someone for us to look at or someone who looks at us. He is working in us to make sure that we can finish the race. He wants us to win so badly that he is willing to die for us. We are the focus of his work, the focus of his energies. Just as we are to fix our eyes on him, he has already fixed his eyes on us. He wants us to succeed. We are the joy set before him, and his joy is not complete until we finish the race.

So, whenever we feel afraid, whenever we are tempted to quit, whenever we are distracted by sin, we need to focus our eyes on Jesus who, for the joy set before him, endured the cross. He endured the cross for our salvation, and our salvation is the joy set before him. He started this project, and he will see it through to the end. He will make sure that you have whatever resources you need to make it.

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