Such a great quote in a very important speech from Winston Churchill. It was two years into World War II when he gave this speech at Harrow School. And just after he said this, he acknowledged that the enemy’s might appears overwhelming. I love that word, “appears”. It means in this case it just looks like that but it’s really not. “You can never tell from appearances how things will go,” he says.
I start with this because I was listening to Craig Groeschel this morning. He’s got this sermon series called “Playlist”. And he used the song, “A Million Reasons” by Lady Gaga to drive home some spiritual truths. I know I needed these this morning, and I’m sure some of you ladies do as well.
When God has called you to do something, what is the enemy’s response? He will totally try and talk you out of it. And sometimes we personally participate in these conversations. Run away! Never give up! But it makes sense that he would want to stop us from doing what God has created us to do and stop a little corner of the kingdom from being built or maintained, or… But the real question is, “Are you going to let the devil talk you out of what God created you to do?”
When you feel like giving up, no matter if it’s a person, school, a church, whatever, remember it’s because your enemy is trying to talk you out of following through. He will give you a million reasons to quit. Just like the song says, “I’ve got a hundred million reasons to walk away, but Baby I just need one good one to stay.”
So, what is our good reason to keep on going? Keep on walking through that terrible trial to get through to the other side?
Jesus understands our pains. He knew that if He was to be crucified He would experience the pain of rejection (ala Peter denying Him three times and the disciples being scattered). He would be beaten beyond recognition. He would be whipped and mocked. There would be nails pounded through His body and then yanked up on a cross. And He knew that when He became sin His Father would look away from Him. Talk about pain! In John 12:23-27 he asks God if He should pray that this cup pass from Him, that He not have to go through being crucified. And He hashes it out with God. In verse 27 he comes to the conclusion that this was the very reason He came.
And so in Hebrews 12, we are being told to copy Jesus. It says that He followed through for the joy set before Him. Seriously, sometimes the sweetest and greatest joys in life are found after the most horrendous trials/battles.
Jesus knew that there had to be a death to have a resurrection. He knew it takes pain to make progress and there needs to be a struggle to have a story worth telling. Sometimes you have to endure the worst to experience the best.
And why did Jesus follow through? He pressed on so that we might not grow weary AND lose heart. If I was enough for Jesus, then Jesus is enough for me. He is my one good reason to stay, to follow through. Jesus is the answer.
So when you get down to the end of this Hebrews passage, you see that Jesus did it also so that we would not grow weary AND lose heart. And it happens all the time. Things in this life pile on top of each other and we lose focus. But if we do what it says here and keep our eyes on Jesus, pinpoint laser focused, we will not lose heart or grow weary of the battles.
So today, if you’re going through something really crazy and painful, remember, all you have to do is hold on to Jesus. He will get you through to the other side. He promised to never leave us or forsake us. And I, for one, can’t wait to get through to the other side of this mess and experience the joy that His follow through brings.