BE ANCHORED – On the Joy that is Set Before You
Listen here (as voiced by Chioma Phillips) and/or read below:
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 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 has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2
*All scriptures are from the NKJV, unless otherwise stated.
I know what it feels like to be ignored. I know what it feels like not to know what to do even in a supposedly simple situation. I know what it feels like to hang on to nothing, except the simple hope in the reality that no matter what happens, God will come through. I know what it feels like not to have someone who understands and how it hurts on the inside. I know how it feels when it’s like your various efforts are not appreciated and it’s like every good thing you do bounces back to hit you in the face. I know what it feels like when the very things you believed God gave you to do become your dead weight. So I am not going to take an “I am a good boy” position with you, but a simple position of encouragement and hope that my few words will light up in you a new flame of hope and strength for the journey. So my candid advice will be, take a look again at the joy that is set for you at the right hand of the Father and keep moving towards that which is revealed.
Is that weight worth your walk?
Weights in this journey of faith come in different forms and most of the time, they come to slow us down, especially if they are not being used by God to teach us something. And the simple reason is because the journey to the face of God is an up the mountain journey and it takes more flexibility and lightness to make it up there. Sin, which is not necessarily things like fornication or stealing, which are characters of the flesh, but is the act of doing anything outside of faith, can be weighty on the heart of the faith walker. “For whatever is not from faith is sin.” (See Romans 14:23). The reason being that the only thing that makes a man a faith walker, is simply the life of walking by faith, and faith is that which comes by hearing the word of God. So the question now is this, is that weight of distraction, sexual sins, unbelief, doubt, fear, the sense of worthlessness that you are carrying, worth the joy of the glory that is set before you? And do you know you can drop your weight and rise on the wings of lightness? It begins with allowing yourself know that it is possible in God, for with God, all things are possible.
When no one sees you
We all want to be loved, appreciated, found worthy and valued for our beauty, brains and all. We all want to feel that someone sees us for the truth of who we are in God and is not making assumptions about us that are not accurate, at least in regard to where we are in our journeys with God. We all want to feel that our efforts are not being undermined and we all want to know that what we have done will not go to waste. And it’s clearly normal and human to want that. For those who deny that such desires exist, end up fighting themselves with multiple self-inflicting swords. But do you know that the cloud of witnesses that has gone ahead of every one of us are far more than those who we think should bear witness to how far we have come in our faith walk on earth? As a matter of truth, God alone bearing witness of who you are, is enough and goes far beyond what a billion people can give. But just so you know that you are not alone, the reason why angels are called ministering spirits for the believers, is because they are set on the path of the journey of our faith, both to cheer us on and also to give strength when we need them. And not to talk about the multitude of glorified human witnesses that have gone ahead of us. So be encouraged, for your walk of faith is not in vain.
Snares and scares
The journey of faith is not some easy cheese walk on a coasting slide towards some happy ever after story. Yes, the end of our faith walk has in it the reality of eternal joy, which is even much more than living happily ever after, like children’s stories portray them, but the journey itself was never created to be a coasting on a slide of bliss. The path is loaded with snares that can really be scary for the faint-hearted. But we always overcome every snare and scare, as long as our hearts and our ears are tuned to the voice of the One who said “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So walk on faith walker, for our salvation is nearer than we expected.
Embrace the joy
I wonder what the Apostle Paul saw that propelled him to say “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18. What he had seen must have been very clear to him, for him to be so bold to say that whatever he was going through in his journey was not worthy of the glory that he saw. It’s like saying none of this weight is worthy of my eternal reality. And that’s basically it, in its barest simplicity. And it’s the same for me and for you reading or listening to this article right now. And I believe that one way to constantly live out the reality of not making any worth out of the weights we have, is to embrace the joy that is set before us. Why? It is this joy of the Lord which is our strength, even as we journey upward to the face of God. No one has any strength in themselves to get themselves up the mountain and the greatest of all saints still have human weaknesses. It is just what it is, but our hope and anchor must always be on Him who has gone through the veil ahead of us.
Look unto Jesus
Sometimes it can be quite frustrating not to know what God or the Spirit is saying in a particular situation that we come into. And quite frankly, none of us always knows what God is saying in all our dealings with Him. Sometimes it’s in the failure of not knowing what He is saying, that He reveals Himself to us as the One who can both speak with words and with situations, and it won’t take anything away from what He wants us to both know and enter into.
In conclusion, times are quite difficult on the physical earth right now, because of the various issues going on globally, and it’s even worse for those who are on a spiritual journey of faith. And why is that? No matter how heavy any physical global events are, the spiritual dimension of it is much heavier. And it leaves a lot of weight and weakness on the faith walkers.
But my words to you are this, lay aside every weight that easily besets or slows you down. It is not worth the glory that is to be revealed in you. Stop beating yourself up for the mistakes you made along the path, it doesn’t make you any better a candidate for glory. It only complicates your story. And I pray that the Lord will strengthen you and also keep you in His love, baptize you afresh with His presence, even as you take a renewed step forward on your journey.
God bless you. From your brother.