Patience and Hope

Let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus – Hebrews 12:1-2

Where do we find the strength for this grueling, often disheartening, many-obstacled race that is the Christian life? It is only found in fixing our gaze upon the God-man. Only as we look to Jesus do we find the persevering grace to run and not be weary, to walk and not faint.

Duty, without the beatific sight of Christ firmly focused before our eyes, will be nothing more than drudgery. On the other hand, to truly see Christ is to be transformed by the sight. There is no such thing as looking at Jesus and not being changed.

Do you struggle with personal purity? Look to Jesus, and be reminded of the superior pleasure of your perfect Savior. Are you wrestling with grief? Look to Jesus, and be comforted by the sovereign goodness of your God. Have you given into temptation? Look to Jesus, and see the forgiveness that pours from those cross wounds.

Only an unclouded, Bible-grounded view of Jesus can inspire us to faith, and give us the strength that we will need for faithful living. Fear of hell, fondness for family, love of fellowship, or hope of heaven—none of these are strong enough to build a joyful, persevering, self-sacrificing, Christ-exalting life upon.

Conversely, if we see our determination lagging or our strength diminishing, this is a certain indicator that our gaze has dropped, that our eyes are not fixed upon Jesus as they ought to be. As hymnwriter Helen Lemmel exhorts:

Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace.