“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 is set down at the right Hand of the Throne of God.”
If we’re transfixed on Him, we’ll also be transformed by Him.
It’s all about focus. . .which leads to faithfulness. . .and fruitfulness. Like a runner nearing the finish line, who’s been instructed by his coach to run to a point at least 10 yards past the line lest he let up right before the finish, so must we fix our eyes on Jesus and not look away; otherwise, we’ll be like Peter walking on the water, but took his eyes off Jesus and began to sink even though he was within arms-reach of Jesus (Mk. 14:30-31).
Warren Wiersbe once said, “If you look at others, you’ll get distressed. If you look at yourself, you’ll get depressed. But, if you look to Jesus, you’ll be blessed.”
So true, so true. Hallelujah!
Oh, dear Pilgrim, all around us we see “doom, despair and agony on me.” The morning headlines are foreboding and the “voices” within us are frightening. But, by “casting down imaginations and anything that prevents from seeing God’s face by capturing EVERY thought and bringing it into captivity in Christ” (II Cor. 10:5), we’re able to have “the Mind of Christ in us” (Phil. 2:5) which is a miraculous, Resurrection Mind.
Just as owners put blinders on horses when taking them out in public, so must we ask the Holy Spirit to put spiritual blinders on us. The world’s siren songs are too alluring for us to battle them in our own strength; that’s why Paul said “I can do all things THROUGH CHRIST Who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13). Truly, the “secret” of our strength is “Christ IN us, the Hope of Glory” (Col. 1:27).
And, again, the key to it all is “looking unto Jesus—and keep on looking!”
It’s not a casual look; neither is it a cursory gaze. It is an unwavering, steadfast look that stays focused on Him regardless of what’s happening around us. Like the wingmen in formation in an elite flying group, who keep their eyes on the lead plane—never looking away or at their instruments—we implicitly, intentionally and exclusively keep our eyes upon the “Author and Finisher (Grk. ‘archegos’—‘chief leader, captain, prince, etc.’) our faith.”
Only then will we, like Him, begin to understand why He “endured the Cross and despised the shame prior to being set down at the right Hand of the Throne of God.” It was “for the Joy that was set before Him.”
“And what might that ‘Joy’ be?” we ask. “Crucifixion isn’t my definition of joy,” someone adds. But, dear Pilgrim, it wasn’t the pain, suffering and death He enjoyed—for they brought Him to the brink of forsakenness and despair (Mt. 27:46; Ps. 22:1). But, it was what awaited Him AFTER His death and burial that caused Him to rejoice: Knowing such would accomplish God’s Purpose and provide the means of our salvation (Rom. 5:6-11). So, stay focused and faithful, weary one. Jesus is the Joy of the Journey—and He’s a Faithful Friend.