Criticism. Harsh words that deeply penetrate our being. They make us lose focus; distract us from our goal; create distractions that divert our attention; cause us to doubt ourselves. But Hebrews 12:2 reminds us that we should fix our eyes on Jesus, “the author and perfecter of faith (NASB).” It reminds us that Jesus “endured the cross, despising the shame.” He suffered humiliation by so many yet remained focused on the goal “and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Jesus has shown us the way to victory. He ran the race before us and showed us how to endure hatred, insults and scorn. He showed us how to run with endurance, never taking his eyes off the goal. He taught us how to “lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us (Hebrews 12:1).” He is the seasoned coach helping us to perfect our stride so that we can “run with endurance the race that is set before us.” He is there telling us that he “endured such hostility by sinners against Himself; telling us he knows how we feel; telling us “not grow weary and lose heart.”
Even thought critics seek to sideline us — seek to through us off course — we must keep our eyes on Jesus. We must remember so many others before us have followed his example and endured, completing the race set out before them. They are the “great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us (12:1)” — a long list in Hebrews 11. They remind us that “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (11:1).” Our faith is in Jesus.
© 2021 CGThelen
“Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.” – Hebrews 12:12