Heb 12:1-3 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 our 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.
I’m not a great fan of running or jogging but when it comes to riding a bike it’s a whole different matter. I love the speed and thrill of the ride while covering big distances and keeping fit. Last Saturday I set myself the challenge of a 20mile ride before breakfast. It was cold and raining when I set off, but because I had set myself the challenge I was not going be deterred. The first half of the hour ride was all up hill, through countryside which just went on and on. The last part of the hill was steep so it needed all my effort to keep the pedals going round and not give up. I had not slept well and my arms were numb and I felt cold. When I eventually reached the top and started the mostly downhill ride for the second ten miles, even though it was still hard work, I could enjoy the bluebells in the woods and Red Kites squawking as I got nearer to home. Di realised I wasn’t looking too good when I arrived home and kindly put a coat around me and heated up some porridge for me. What kindness. What joy.
There are some situations in life where we just have to persevere. As Christians sometimes we go through trying and difficult times. Its times like this when we need to know there is someone alongside. For us that’s Jesus. He has been this way before and he is there to help us. In the verses from Hebrews above, Jesus set his face on going through all the pain and suffering of the cross. He knew that there would be a resurrection and glorification time when the father would say like he did at his baptism. “With him I am well pleased”.
In the difficult times I want to be able to press on, knowing that Jesus gave me that example, and knowing that if I set my spiritual eyes on Jesus, he will also be alongside in the journey.