“For consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest you be wearied and faint in your minds. You have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.”
Christ-contemplation will lead to life-consecration and “Joy unspeakable and full of glory” (I Pet. 1:8).
The Greek word “analogizomai” is used for “consider” in today’s Manna and basically means “to estimate, contemplate, to put in proportion, to reason, compute, analyze, etc.” Thus, it’s a careful consideration of this One sent from God and all that He experienced here on earth.
Too often we grow quite microscopic in mindset, focusing upon our current misery instead of peering through God’s “telescope of triumph” that reveals what awaits us (I Pet. 1:9). Yet, “fixing our eyes upon Jesus” (Heb. 12:2) and “staying our mind upon Him” (Is. 26:3) will keep us from drudgery or despair.
Instead, as we reflect upon all He suffered. . .His “contradiction (Grk. ‘antilogia’—‘disputing, disobedience, strife, mockery, etc.’) of sinners against Himself”. . .we suddenly realize we’ve not suffered anything in comparison to Him. And, evidently like the Jewish-Christian recipients of the Epistle of Hebrews, who were undergoing severe persecution, we’ve “not yet resisted (Grk. ‘antikathistemi’—‘to set troops against, withstand, to place down permanent, etc.’) unto blood as we strive (struggle or fight against, resist, etc.) against sin.”
And, even if we, like so many in various parts of the world today, are “striving against sin and shedding our blood in the process,” it’s still our “considering Him”—the “Author and Finisher of our faith” (Heb. 12:2)—that will keep us from feeling “distressed, despairing, forsaken and destroyed” (II Cor. 4:8-9).
Regardless, the “secret of serenity and security” is remembering the One Who lives within our hearts—the Risen Lord—has “been there, done that” when it comes to what we’re going through. Truly, as the “Forerunner within the veil” (Heb. 6:19-20), Jesus has traveled through “the valley of the shadow of Death” (Ps. 23:4) and returned to say “All is well; follow Me.” Hallelujah!!
So, the next time you’re feeling down or discouraged. . .feeling like your labor for the Lord is in vain. . .engage in “Christ-contemplation”. . .and see if His Holy Spirit doesn’t quicken you and fill your heart with His “peace that passes all understanding” (Phil. 4:7).
Then, allow that Peace to flood your soul, renewing you in every way as His great Joy rises up to lift you from the depths into the heights. Like the three Hebrew children in the fiery furnace, you’ll soon realize “there’s a Fourth One in there with you, liken unto the Son of God” (Dan. 3:25). Or, like Daniel, surrounded by a hoard of hungry lions, you’ll not fear—for you know the Risen Lord is your “Refuge and Strength, a very present Help in trouble” (Ps. 46:1). Why not pause right now, close your eyes and “consider Him” for a few minutes? Then go forth today in His Strength, knowing He’ll guide you every step of the way.