Fixing Your Eyes, Finally and Forever

Day 42 - May 9 / Elder John Tanner

Hebrews 12:1-3

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted."

As we bring to a close our forty days of prayer,  let this passage propel us forward.  Here, in just three verses, we have a beautiful blueprint for persevering.  

At the heart of this passage is the call to steady our gaze, to hone our sights.  Where the ESV says, “looking to Jesus,”  the NIV captures my imagination more when it says, “fixing our eyes on Jesus.”  

This reads as so much more deliberate and conjures up the fact that it will be hard to do at times---that there will be plenty to distract us and call our attention away.  
It reminds me of the story of Peter stepping out onto the waves.

Through the raging storm, Peter sees Jesus.  He hears Jesus tell him to come.  He obeys and steps out of the boat.  Ears honed into Jesus’ voice.  Eyes fixed on what I imagine are outstretched arms and a reassuring face, Peter actually walks on the water.

“But then.”…. he sees the wind, and he’s filled with fear and begins to sink.
When his attention is fixed, he’s able to do more than is natural.  He’s able to proceed through a raging storm, lay his fear aside, and obey the Lord’s call.  But when he focuses his eyes on the danger all around him, he begins to sink.

If you know Peter’s story, you know this is not the last bold act of his that will be tempered with disappointment or failure.  

But his story should encourage us.  Because despite his repeated failures, Peter finished the race well, even after denying Jesus and ultimately being told that he would one day die for his faith.  

So what kept him going?  The Lord’s grace and Peter’s belief that the One who had promised is faithful.  Peter knew the prize that he was going to inherit, the joy that would fill him when he one day finished his race and fell again, finally and forever, into the outstretched arms of Jesus and heard once more the voice that bid him leave behind his nets and the safety of the boat.  

This is our call, too.  To fix our eyes and hearts on Him; and as we do, to rejoice as the things that attach us to the world become less and less significant and we perceive in deeper and deeper ways the fullness of His majesty.
Prayer Points:
  • Pray for grace to steady your heart & fix your gaze on Him.
  • Ask for faith to believe He is preparing a place for you.
  • Ask for strength to run and not grow weary, to endure well.
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