In Discouragement, Consider Him

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,  fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross,scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12: 1-3

Every two weeks, I go through the same routine. Get up early. Wake up my youngest daughter. Pack a bag with some snacks and water. Load up some school work and something fun for Abby to do after completing school work. Head to an infusion center a few miles from my house to receive a life-saving medication, which is providing more dialysis-free/kidney transplant-free time for me. More about my life with aHUS here,  here and here.

Today was the day. Discouragement flooded in. Maybe it was because it was Wednesday and my usual Tuesday routine was disrupted due to a conflict at the infusion center. Maybe it was the sun beckoning me to be outside. Maybe it was my daughter’s groans expressing her complaints about getting up early with me. Maybe it was the bruise on my forearm from the previous IV. Or, maybe it was just the enemy’s tactic that morning to pull me down.

IV pic

What I know is that discouragement gets me to focus on none other than me. I am inward focused, thinking about, meditating on, and dwelling on my circumstances. Discouragement gets me stuck in my expectations and hopes and how things might have been. Discouragement leaves me thinking things like, “I don’t deserve this”.

But, the final sentence in the Hebrews passage above is verse 3 in which Paul instructs us to, “Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart“.

Consider: to think carefully about, regard with respect, pay attention to.

Paul in essence says, “Stop thinking about what is trapping you in sin. Keep running your race. Think about Jesus.”

Messages such as Hebrews 12: 1-3, always had me thinking something to myself along the lines of “think about Jesus and the torture and death He endured. Lisa, you can endure another needle poke, another day of fatigue, more trials, etc.”

I think there is some merit to that, comparing our circumstances to others who have gone through worse or are currently in a deep struggle.  When discouragement entrapped me today, something that helped in taking my eyes off myself was just that.

I remembered the patients in Australia who have a petition going to attempt to allow them to receive the medication I so easily receive. I remembered the friend fighting cancer with little strength to take care of her family. I saw the homeless couple in the parking lot rearranging their life’s belongings in their car. I focused on the friend with 3 foster children, pouring out her heart each day so the children can find healing. I thought about the lost, having no knowledge of the Loving Father they could find refuge in.

But, I am beginning to see the Hebrews passages in a different light. Rather than only comparing my suffering to Jesus’ suffering, I am beginning to see the magnitude of who He is.

The suffering He endured was for me.

The suffering He endured was necessary.

The suffering He endured met the requirement.

Jesus is better.

If you don’t know, dear one, Jesus is better. He is good. He is to be trusted. He is above all. He holds it all together. When you are in the midst of your trial, you must remember. You must consider. Jesus is better.

sunset cross

 

2 thoughts on “In Discouragement, Consider Him

  1. I love this passage of Scripture.

    And I appreciate your analysis of discouragement. Discouragement leaves me thinking: I don’t deserve this.

    So true. Convicting. I have noticed such in my own life and tried not to see it for what it is. You help me own it.

    There is no doubt this passage focuses us on Jesus’ sacrifice. He suffered far more than me. Suffered more nobly than I do. And suffered on my behalf. I can’t compare.

    But there is an opening for a new question in this passage. If you sit with it quietly, eventually it speaks up in your mind as a curiosity that turns into a life-quest.

    In the midst of discussing all that suffering, the passages says: “For the JOY set before him, he endured….”. And in this life, we have a pretty good idea about the suffering he endured, but we don’t have a clue about the JOY. And so the question that creeps in to the meditation is: What JOY is worth all that?

    I don’t know. I don’t know what JOY is worth all that suffering. We are not privileged to see it from this vantage ground, but we know it was set BEFORE him. And we can surmise that it is set before us too. And we can have some idea of the magnitude of that JOY because of the suffering he endured – suffering that surely is a small price to pay in the face of that staggering JOY that awaits us.

    I suppose that as we fix our eyes on Jesus and meditate on such questions, we gain a new perspective then on our own sufferings. My sufferings are significantly smaller than his, but I stand to join him in his JOY for which he considered his great suffering to be a small price to pay.

    Wow!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. beavoicefororphans

    ENCOURAGING!…
    Be encouraged to continue the good fight for JESUS name as you live out your faith. When you’re weak, HE is strong for you… HE daily bears your burdens… Those who wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength…
    I think of:
    2 Corinthians 1:3-5
    Praise to the God of All Comfort
    3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.
    Keep it ahead sister for you are growing as a compassionate minister of others…

    Liked by 1 person

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