“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy 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, NASB).
Something my pastor said today has stuck with me all day.
He made an illustration about being seasick during a boating excursion. He said the captain of the boat told him to scan the horizon and focus on a fixed point to alleviate the sickness.
I think a lot of us are sick of a lot of things in 2020. It seems that nothing is certain anymore and no one knows what to expect from one day to the next.
The author of Hebrews tells us to take our eyes off of all the uncertainty and to fix our eyes on Jesus, the originator and finisher of our faith. He was the one there at the start of your faith journey, He’s the one at the end, and He’s the one with you in all the steps between.
My pastor talked about how Jesus commanded Peter to walk on water with Him. He noted that Peter was the only disciple to get out of the boat. It’s actually pretty remarkable that Peter got as far as he did. He only got into trouble when he took his eyes off Jesus and paid more attention to the wind and waves. Then he was sunk, figuratively and literally.
The problem with a lot of us — me included — is that we’ve focused on the storms and chaos and taken our eyes off of Jesus. That’s where fear comes in.
Fear is only false evidence appearing real. Fear is giving too much credit to the wrong things and not enough to the right ones. Fear forgets the faithfulness of God in the past and imagines a future without Him in it.
The only way to fight fear is to change our focus. That requires a deliberate act of the will to look away from the circumstances and to Christ. It’s a bit like swimming against the current since our natural inclination is to give in to fear and anxiety.
My prayer is that you and I will always look to Jesus, and at every moment we feel fear to focus on the Originator and Completer of our faith who will not fail us.