Don't QuitFrom The Heart
Publish date: 09/24/2006
Therefore then, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us, 2 Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Just think of Him Who endured from sinners such grievous opposition and bitter hostility against Himself [reckon up and consider it all in comparison with your trials], so that you may not grow weary or exhausted, losing heart and relaxing and fainting in your minds. Hebrews 12:1-3 AMP
Jesus was not distracted from His purpose by what He had to go through. He endured grievous opposition and bitter hostility against Himself from sinners – the very people who needed the salvation He offers the most. He endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame. He kept His eyes on the expected end result – the joy of obtaining the prize. Paul tells us to follow Jesus’ example, comparing what He went through with what we are going through, so that we do not grow weary or exhausted, or lose heart, or give up hope, or faint in our minds. If Jesus could make it through what He had to endure, then surely we can make it through our trials as well. The thing most people fear the most is death, but the Bible tells us that, “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21) If there is no fear in death, then we should have no fear concerning anything else we must endure!
Blessed (happy, to be envied) is the man who is patient under trial and stands up under temptation, for when he has stood the test and been approved, he will receive [the victor's] crown of life which God has promised to those who love Him. James 1:12 AMP
God rewards those who are patient through trials and who resist temptation. When you have stood through the trials and tests that life throws at you, God has a crown of life for you. This crown has been promised to those who love God. You demonstrate your love for God by your obedience and by your submission to His word.
Everyone who believes (adheres to, trusts, and relies on the fact) that Jesus is the Christ (the Messiah) is a born-again child of God; and everyone who loves the Father also loves the one born of Him (His offspring). 2 By this we come to know (recognize and understand) that we love the children of God: when we love God and obey His commands (orders, charges)--[when we keep His ordinances and are mindful of His precepts and His teaching]. 3 For the [true] love of God is this: that we do His commands [keep His ordinances and are mindful of His precepts and teaching]. And these orders of His are not irksome (burdensome, oppressive, or grievous). 4 For whatever is born of God is victorious over the world; and this is the victory that conquers the world, even our faith. 1 John 5:1-4 AMP
For I am already about to be sacrificed [my life is about to be poured out as a drink offering]; the time of my [spirit's] release [from the body] is at hand and I will soon go free. 7 I have fought the good (worthy, honorable, and noble) fight, I have finished the race, I have kept (firmly held) the faith. 8[As to what remains] Henceforth there is laid up for me the [victor's] crown of righteousness [for being right with God and doing right], which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me and recompense me on that [great] day--and not to me only, but also to all those who have loved and yearned for and welcomed His appearing (His return). 2 Timothy 4:6-8 AMP
Don’t quit – don’t give up. The victor’s crown of righteousness is available to all those who have fought the good fight, finished the race, and kept the faith. If we keep our eye on the prize, as Jesus did, it will motivate us to keep going through the opposition, through the persecution, through the fight, through the pain, through the disappointments, through the temptations, tests, through the trials, through the rejections of life, until we see our precious Savior face to face. God’s will for us is not that we just endure, but that we are ultimately victorious!
For whatever is born of God is victorious over the world; and this is the victory that conquers the world, even our faith. 1 John 5:4 AMP