Hebrews 12:3 Consider Jesus, who endured such hostility from sinners,
so that you may not grow weary or lose heart.
Life for many of us is difficult, especially as the coronavirus continues to dominate our world. There are many stories of heartache and hardship as we are learning to navigate our lives through the ramifications of what this virus has brought about.
I was chatting to a friend who owns her own business and she was feeling very anxious at the thought of losing her business because of being forced to close during the Lockdown and because of the resultant economy collapse. Her words to me were, “I just feel so tired” and I realised her tiredness was not because she had just run a marathon or worked out at gym, she was tired in her soul!
Weariness is different from being tired.
Tired is the natural result of work or effort. It's a depletion of our store of energy because we've invested it into something.
Tired is a signal to rest, recharge, eat, sleep, and heal. Tired is felt physically and it is treated physically.
Weary is a condition of the heart. It is being tired in our soul!
In certain passages the English word "weary" comes from various Greek words that mean to loosen, or to release.
To grow weary is to lose our resolve; to let something slip away; to not hold on to something as tightly as we once did.
Hebrews 12:1-3 (ESV) Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Jesus, who endured such hostility from sinners, so that you may not grow weary or lose heart. (Some versions say give up or faint in your minds.)
Here the writer says that despite the violent and constant attacks against Him, Jesus did not loosen, or let go of His resolve to carry out His mission, and we as Christians should not loosen our grip on our faith and grow weary as well.
Our hold or grip is our faith in Christ, hope of heaven, and love of God and others. Don't grow weary; don't let these things slip away.
Keys to help us not grow weary
In all that we are facing and having to deal with, we cannot let go of our faith in Jesus and our resolve to hold onto Him amid everything we are dealing with.
#1 CONSIDER CHRIST
V3 Consider Jesus, who endured such hostility from sinners, so that you may not grow weary or lose heart.
In this passage, the word "consider" means to consider thoughtfully. Think carefully about what Christ has done on the Cross and how He has done it. We are in danger of letting go or relaxing our hold on Him when we consider other things like:
· Our own strength or ability
· The world and its cares especially around the coronavirus
· The past and its failures
· The future and the challenges there
God calls on those who are weary to consider Jesus, focus on Him, yoke themselves to Him, and call on Him for strength to hold tightly to faith, hope, and love.
#2 LAY ASIDE EVERY WEIGHT AND THE SIN THAT CLINGS SO CLOSELY
Hebrews 12:1 Let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely.
We lose our grip, we lessen our hold on Jesus, and we grow weary when we are distracted from Christ by the things in this world or when we try to carry the things in this world by ourselves. These include:
· Unforgiveness can be a weight. Forgive quickly and walk in forgiveness as a lifestyle
· Fear of Man can be a weight when we care more for the approval of man than God’s approval
· We don’t give God the time in our day because we have “other interests.”
· Worry and anxiety
#3 KEEP OUR FOCUS ON THE JOY OF OUR SALVATION
Hebrews 12:2 ..who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross.
Psalm 51:12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.
We replace weariness with joy when we keep our focus on the will of God for our lives - His plan and purpose. The hardships we are experiencing that are causing us to be weary do not change God’s eternal purpose and plan for our lives!
Galatians 6:9 NASB “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.”
We need to keep on walking out our salvation and relationship with God. Our circumstances have not taken God by surprise! His purpose will prevail, and we just need to keep our focus on what He has called us to do.
Joy comes from His Presence. As we spend time in His Presence, irrespective of our feelings, He will exchange our weariness for a joy that comes from Heaven and is not dependent on our circumstances.
Psalm 23:3 (ESV) says “He restores my soul” but before that comes verses 1 and 2 : The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.
It is only as we see Jesus and we come to a place of still waters in His Presence, He restores our soul!
We will battle fatigue, indifference, and the flesh, but we must continue to believe and do good.
God makes a conditional promise here by saying that we will bear fruit and reap a harvest at the proper time if we don’t lose heart and grow weary.
Practical Questions we can ask ourselves:
· What is our focus on right now? Is it on the coronavirus and its potential effect on our life personally, and the circumstances around us or is it on the power and strength of Jesus to help us through and give us wisdom in these times?
· What weight are we carrying? What are we anxious about? Do we believe God can take care of those things we are anxious about?
· Do we still have joy and peace in our hearts no matter what our circumstances? Do we spend time in the Presence of Jesus to allow Him to exchange our weakness for His strength?
2 Corinthians 4:16 –18 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
So, we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
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