Day 16: How Jesus Loved – Part Two
“Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2
Doing things God’s way can take some effort. Jesus wrestled with doing what God wanted Him to do in the Garden of Gethsemane to the point where He began sweating blood. Let’s look at what the Bible says about what Jesus went through at that moment in time.
Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful and deeply distressed, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.” Matthew 26:38
Jesus said that His soul (mind, will, and emotions) was exceedingly sorrowful. So fierce was the fight to resist temptation and keep on His path to win our salvation, that He began sweating blood.
And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. Luke 22:44
I know that I haven’t resisted temptation to the point that I started sweating blood. I’ve given in to temptation over far lesser things than Jesus was facing at that moment. Yet, He rose up from that place and allowed Himself to be arrested. What was it that kept Jesus from running from the plan for Him and thus sealing our doom? It’s the same thing that will keep us from yielding to the temptation to quit.
Hebrews 12:2 says that we are to “look unto Jesus.” Why? Well, for one, because He resisted sin to the point of bloodshed. He went through every temptation imaginable, and yet came out victorious—He never gave up. So we should know how He was able to do that! It says He endured the cross “for the joy that was set before Him.” He knew that His life and death on this earth would accomplish His Father’s will—to bridge the gap between humanity and Himself by means of His son.
My dear brothers and sisters, this is how we overcome. We keep our eyes on Jesus; keep our focus on Him and the end goal. If we keep our eye on the prize, so to speak, we won’t let anything encroach upon our faith in God’s Word. So, if you’re feeling discouraged, depressed, or disenchanted, it’s because your focus has been off. You might have started off well, but as time has gone on, the problems have slowly become forefront again. Get your eyes back on Him!
You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Isaiah 26:3
The first part of that verse reminds me of God’s peace guarding our hearts and minds as Philippians 4:7 says. When we keep our focus on God’s Word, rather than the problem, the Bible says that God Himself will keep us in perfect peace!
That doesn’t mean the enemy will just quit trying to get your focus wonky again. He most certainly will. You just stomp your foot and tell him no, all right?
Read Luke 22-24 and be reminded of what Jesus endured. Also read Hebrews 12:3-4. Keep in mind as you read what made it possible for Him to keep going—His focus was on the end result, not the pain He was going through. Just as Jesus had the victory in the end, you will too, if you don’t lose heart. Take some time to thank Him for not giving up!