Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Facing Hardships for Jesus

Hebrews 12:2

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.

Photo on 6-21-16 at 2.53 PMHave any of us endured hardship for a cause? Hardship is so hard to define – because it can mean different things to different people. For instance – in elementary school I remember declining an invite to play in a game of kickball because my best friend didn’t get picked. That was a hardship for a competitive person like me – even in elementary school! Others have mentioned not joining a club or a fraternity because a close friend failed to receive an invite.

I’ve heard of colleagues and friends who have turned down promotions and raises in order to remain where they felt God called them. I’ve known parents who have sacrificed for their children – going without in order that their children might have what they needed and at times what they wanted. Hardships come in many ways.

When it comes to our faith – what hardships do we face for Jesus? A friend stopped by the office this week and told me of a man from a country that persecutes Christians. He became a soccer coach so he would have an opportunity to influence young people for Jesus. He has traveled around the globe and has been given the opportunity to stay in lands – like the US – where he would be free. He responded by saying he must go home because there are too many people in his homeland who do not know about Jesus. He has been imprisoned in his homeland for his faith – yet he goes back to spread the Gospel. He faces hardships for his faith.

Here’s today’s passage in partial context. Hebrews 12:1–3 – 1 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 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.

Jesus faced the cross for us – quite the hardship. He faced such a hardship so that all who would receive Him would get their sin debt paid. We would get a free gift – salvation – because He faced the cross.

We are called to throw off everything that hinders as we fix our eyes on Jesus. Face whatever hardship we must – in order to walk closer with Jesus everyday!

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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June 23, 2016 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , ,

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