12 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, 2 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. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Heb 12:1-3 NIV
In one of my favorite movies, Braveheart, there is a scene where the Robert the Bruce confronts his father, who had just lead him to betray William Wallace. Bruce’s father tells him, “All men betray, all lose heart!” To which he responds, “I don’t want to lose heart! I want to believe as he does! I will never be on the wrong side again!” We live in a world of near constant trial and temptation. It is so easy for us to become weary and lose heart letting our circumstances dictate our attitude and ultimately our actions. On our mountain backpacking trips we frequently find participants getting tired and discouraged. Sometimes it seems like the trail never ends and the easiest thing to do it just give up. I have found that once the summit comes into view that keeping our eyes on the goal helps us to persevere and push through the pain and struggle. Once we reach the top, the pain is but a memory, and we are always glad we persevered.
Jesus set a powerful example for us when endured the agony of the cross on our behalf. The writer of Hebrews says that He did this for the joy set before Him. We are called to follow this example when we face hardship fixing our eyes on Jesus with the knowledge that the pain and difficulty are temporary but the joy of obedience is everlasting. Much like Robert the Bruce looked to William Wallace’s example of unwavering devotion and belief and ultimately lead Scotland to freedom, we can face any difficulty that comes our way by keeping our eyes on Jesus, knowing that He is present with us in the struggle. Whatever you may be facing today, may you know that this trial is temporary. May you look to Jesus as your source of strength, knowing that He has already won the victory!