- Christ, the Creator
- Christ, the Life
- Christ, the Son of God
- Christ, the Bread of Life
- Christ, the Incarnate God
- Christ, the Tree of Life
- Christ, the Saviour
- Christ, the Light
- Christ, the Good Shepherd
- Christ, the Living
- Christ, the True Vine
- Christ, the High Priest
- Christ, the Redeemer
- Christ, the Preached
- Christ, the King
- Christ, the Miraculous
- Christ, the Prophet
- Christ, the Mediator
- Christ, the Word
- Christ, the Faith
- Christ, the Son of Man
- Christ, the Head
- Christ, the Perfect Sacrifice
- Christ, the Immutable
- Christ, the Example
The context of our text verses, and that of the preceding chapter of Hebrews 11, are addressed to saved people about the process of Christian maturity and growth. The trial of faith is an essential element in maturity as Children of God. The simple truth is that a faith that is never tested cannot be trusted. Difficult and troublesome times are never joyous. And no saved person is immune to trials; but we are promised grace sufficient to every need.
Look at our text verses:
“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,” (Hebrews 12:1)
“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.” (Hebrews 12:2)
“For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.” (Hebrews 12:3)
Because we all face trials of faith, we should not grow discouraged and lose hope during difficulties. Rather, the proper attitude is endurance through hardships. Our choice in how we will endure trials proves to be beneficial as those occasions offer us the greatest lessons in life, building our faith, and spiritual maturity; as we learn to look past the difficulty to the victory beyond.
It is said that the best way to learn is by experience; and the best way to teach is by example. When we are presented with an example to follow, we can mold ourselves into the pattern of the example. In this way we are able to learn about what we are, as well as what we need to become. We are able to see where we fall short of the pattern and how we have to grow in certain areas.
Of course, this positive growth requires the right example. So often we look to each other, or to some big-name personality, for our example. But a flawed example promotes a flawed education, and eventually leads to disappointment and failure.
Our text verses bring us the truth of a spiritual battle. The human mind is the battlefield where spiritual warfare is either won or lost. It is important for our experience of victory that we do not faint in our minds (verse 3). We must learn to patiently endure trials and struggles. The great cloud of witnesses all found the faith necessary to trust God in spite of great obstacles and difficulties. We must have patience as we grow and mature in our New Life. The challenge is to have the same endurance as the ‘heroes of faith’ mentioned in Hebrews 11.
Christian living is likened to a race which must be run “with patience.” The lives of the heroes in Chapter 11 bear witness to the endurance of faith in trying circumstances. Their lives often looked like failures. In spite of great hardships and opposition, they teach us to persevere and keep on serving the Lord. And herein is the most-significant factor in their endurance: they looked to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith.
While the heroes of faith themselves bear witness to the perseverance of faith in spite of circumstance, they all pale in comparison to the example of Jesus Christ. Jesus gave us the ultimate example of endurance in afflictions when He obediently and faithfully “endured the cross, despising the shame.” By looking past the shame and suffering of the cross to “the joy that was set before him,” Christ endured the cross and won the victory over death by His Resurrection and is even now seated in Heavenly Glory.
No one is exempt from troubles. And the Child of God will have trials of faith. Consider your circumstances as elemental (fundamental or basic) to your Christian growth and maturity as God conforms you to the Example of Christ.
God is still working in and through His people, and we can still live lives of great faith. However, this only comes as we patiently endure trials. To do this, we are taught to look to Jesus, and then look ahead to glory. With Christ as our example, we will find the strength, hope, and purpose; as we endure faithfully in our walk of faith.