"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God's throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won't become weary and give up. After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin."
Christian leadership expert, Bobby Clinton, says that holding onto Divine Perspective is critical for a leader to finish well. This rings true. How can a Christ follower endure the suffering inevitable in life and inherant in Christian discipleship without it?
One of the encouragements offered to us in the book of Hebrew and in these four verses is an invitation to and instruction in holding Divine Perspective. Broadly, we are to remeber that we are not along (v1.); focus our perseverance on Christ (v2.); and, in place of the brokenness of our situation (sin) we cling to the JOY of our current closeness to God and the hope of the deepest of intimacy we will share in eternity (v.2-3).
In practice, however, "fixing our eyes" on Jesus can be altogether bewildering. What exactly am I to look at? How will this change my very real problems? The following is a simple practice that might help:
Wherever you are sitting, look around you and observe. What do you see in the room? What do you see outside the window? What colors do you notice? What shapes? What types of things are your eyes most drawn toward?
Choose one item to look at. Observe it. Study it. Give your whole focused attention to it for several minutes.
What feelings are stirred? Are any memories coming to mind? Does it bring to mind any challenges you've faced?
Now, close your eyes and imagine Jesus sitting near you. Look at him. In the same way you "set your eye" on the item, focus your heart's eye on Christ.
What do you feel? Remember? Long for?
Listen to Jesus' words for you.
Speak with Jesus.
As you enter into the rest of your day, what is the JOY awaiting you (Diving Perspective) that you will keep within your vision? Allow this focus to sustain you through the day as you endure the fruit of your own sin and the sin of others.