Looking only at Jesus, the originator and perfecter of the faith
Hebrews 11:32-12:13 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
And what more shall I say? For time will fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets, 33 who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. 35 Women received back their dead by resurrection; and others were tortured, not accepting their release, so that they might obtain a better resurrection; 36 and others experienced mocking and flogging, and further, chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented 38 (people of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts, on mountains, and sheltering in caves and holes in the ground.
39 And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40 because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect.
12 Therefore, since we also have such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let’s rid ourselves of every obstacle and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let’s run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking only at Jesus, the originator and perfecter of the faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
4 You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin; 5 and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons,
“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, Nor faint when you are punished by Him; 6 For whom the Lord loves He disciplines,
And He punishes every son whom He accepts.”
7 It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9 Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. 11 For the moment, all discipline seems not to be pleasant, but painful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterward it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.
12 Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is impaired may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.
In Matthew 17:20 Jesus says: “Truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.” In Mark 9:23 He says: “All things are possible for the one who believes.” In today’s text it says: And what more shall I say? For time will fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets, who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received back their dead by resurrection. We need to become familiar with the things God has done for and through people of faith, both the Biblical accounts and other accounts of miracles up to this day. In Malachi 3:6 God says: I am the LORD, I do not change. What God has done before, He can and will do again. He will do for us what he has done for others, if we have faith. It is not even a matter of the amount or the greatness of our faith. We need only faith the size of a mustard seed to move mountains. We need only to have the proper focus of faith. We need to believe in God. We need only mustard seed size faith in the omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient God of creation.
Even if we struggle with our faith, we can, like the father of the epileptic boy in Mark 9:24, say: “I do believe; help my unbelief!” When we struggle with believing, we need to remember what Jesus said in John 19:30, when He was on the cross: “It is finished!” Jesus has already fully accomplished everything that we need. It is finished, accomplished in the eternal heavenly realm. We should not question if He will do what we ask, because He already has done it. In Matthew 27:50-51, when Jesus cried out “It is finished!”, it also says: When Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split. Hebrews 4:16 says: Therefore let’s approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace for help at the time of our need. We need to believe and have confidence that we ourselves are worthy of going to the throne of grace. We need to believe that our sin no longer separates us from God’s holy presence. We can go to the throne of grace, to the very presence of God in heaven, where there is no sickness, no disease, no disability or deformity, where there are no tears, and we can receive what we need by God’s grace. Even more, Jesus taught us to pray saying: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven… Because of the finished work of the cross and because the veil that separated us from God has been removed, the realities of heaven can also be manifested on earth. That is really what a miracle is. It is when the circumstances and situations on earth come into alignment with the realities of the finished work of the cross.
The text says: Let’s rid ourselves of every obstacle and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let’s run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking only at Jesus, the originator and perfecter of the faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. In everything that rises up against us, whatever the circumstance or situation that we face, we need to focus on Jesus, the originator and perfecter of our faith. 2 Corinthians 5:7 (AMP) says: We walk by faith, not by sight [living our lives in a manner consistent with our confident belief in God’s promises]
Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ; precious Holy Spirit, I do believe; help my unbelief! Perfect my faith as I focus only on You. May I not only come to the throne of grace and receive what I need, but because of the finished work of the cross, may Your kingdom come and Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. May I walk by faith, not by sight living my life in a manner consistent with a confident belief in Your promises. Amen.