Meditations for Troubled Times
“…Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.” (Hebrews 12:3-4)
Last time we considered the questions, “What do we do when we are weary? What do we do when we are spiritually sapped because hardship’s heat is bearing down upon us?” Hebrews 12:3 tells us, “Consider Christ.” We are to turn our gaze off our troubles and onto the Lord Jesus. Particularly, we are to reflect on how our Savior persevered in the face of oppression. Rather than reviling those who insulted him, Jesus entrusted himself into the hands of him who judges justly. As we ponder his attitude and actions, Christ serves as a model for us to follow.
But then the writer gives us something else to consider—Jesus shed his blood. As you struggle in this life, remember there is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Immanuel’s veins, and sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains. As we think about this point, it is important to note what verse 4 says we are battling against. It doesn’t say worldly powers or the devil, even though both are true. He declares that it’s sin we are fighting against. To describe this conflict, he uses a word from the boxing world—“struggle.”
It’s like sin is coming for us. It wants to give body blows and shots to the head. It wants to knock us out of the fight. It’s seeking to destroy us and cause us to throw in the towel. So, the author of Hebrews says, “Don’t grow weary in the struggle because you have not resisted to the point of shedding your blood.” The attacks you face have not led to your death. And, even if they did, the second death’s sting is removed. Christ took it. He shed his blood.
What does this mean? Jesus knows better than anyone what you are facing, and he is committed to you. Help in sorrow is near. So that while the billows over you roll, even when your heart is breaking, he your comfort helps your soul. You have a friend in Jesus, as Octavius Winslow notes, who is near to you in the valley of tears, not crushing you, but sustaining you, who sighs with you and weeps with you. His powerful arms are there to hold you up when you feel as if you can go no further. So then, don’t throw in the towel, because life is hard, or sin is strong. Keep fighting the good fight. How? Meditate on your loving Savior who endured hostility and bled and died to make the foulest clean. Think on Christ—how he took your transgressions and absorbed your curse—and then press on.
As you run through the valleys of life, draft behind your Savior. Do you know the benefits of drafting in a long race? You conserve strength when you run behind another. Run behind Jesus. He is your might, your aide, and your encouragement. Don’t be fainthearted; consider Christ.