Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. Hebrews 12:1-2
In the Greek games, a judge would stand at the finish line holding, in plain sight the laurel leaves that would be rewarded to the victor. As runners came down the final stretch, they were exhausted, tired, and feeling as though they couldn’t go another step. But suddenly there was a prize in sight, and a new burst of energy would kick in.
This is the picture behind the phrase “looking unto Jesus” in Hebrews 12:2. We have to keep our eyes on Jesus Christ. And our prize is the privilege of standing before Him and receiving the crown of righteousness that He will give us.
That is why we live the Christian life, why we try to live godly lives, and why we try to reach people for Him. It isn’t for earthly riches. It isn’t for applause. It isn’t for notoriety. It is so we can hear Jesus say to us on that final day, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” It isn’t to earn His approval, because as believers, we already have found it. But it is to ultimately say, “Lord, I took the life You gave me and tried to make a difference. Here it is. I offer it to You.”
“Looking unto Jesus. . . .” That is what keeps you going even when the going gets tough. You can get discouraged at times. People will let you down. They will disappoint you. They won’t appreciate your hard work. They won’t see your efforts. They won’t see your real motives. So they will criticise you. That is when you remind yourself, “I am not running for any human being. I am running for the Lord. And I will never give up. I will keep running till I see His face.”
Prayer: I look to You, Lord, my strength, the author and finisher of my faith.
Scriptural Reading: Hebrews 12:1-13