Chapter 11 of the book of Hebrews tells us of the past heroes of faith. Chapter 12 of the book of Hebrews shifts the focus from the past heroes of faith to those reading the book of Hebrews and us as well. It enjoins that this great cloud of witnesses who have gone on before us should encourage us to run the race that is set before us with everything we’ve got. It shows us the thing that’s necessary to do to run quickly and smartly. It says to throw off everything that hinders us and the sin that entangles us. In throwing off those hinderances, we must understand that it is not enough to get rid of the bad stuff, but we also must run the race set before us. That means we can please God, not just by avoiding evil, but by also engaging in things that advance the kingdom of God in this world, and that takes perseverance. Perseverance is patience, constancy, endurance, and steadfastness. There are a good number of things in this world that seek to resist our productivity as Christians and stewards of God’s kingdom. It takes perseverance to overcome them. Patient faith is the way to overcome them. We just must give everything it takes to do the will of the Father.
In Hebrews 12:2, the Bible tells us to look unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. It calls Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith. Notice, it didn’t say any of the other faith heroes were the author and finisher or perfecter of our faith. Only Jesus makes our faith complete. Only He perfects our faith. How does He perfect our faith? It is evident from Hebrews 12:2 that He only perfects our faith the way He, the Captain of our salvation, was perfected. The Word tells us that for the joy that was set before Him, He endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Jesus Christ looked beyond the then present pains and sufferings to the joy that was set before Him. So, He could endure the cross and despise the shame. We are to do likewise for our faith to be perfected. That’s how our faith is perfected in Christ.
MY SOLID FRONT (YOUR CONFESSION):
In the Name of Jesus Christ, I look past the present challenges and persecutions, unto the joy that the Father has set before me. I endure persecutions and despise shame as Jesus Christ my Lord did unto perfection. Amen.
Further Meditation: James 1:2-14; Matthew 5:3-12.