3 So consider carefully how Jesus faced such intense opposition from sinners who opposed their own souls, so that you won’t become worn down and cave in under life’s pressures.- Hebrews 12:3 TPT Hebrews 12:1-4 TPT
The people we read about in Chapter 11, successfully completed the course Jesus had laid out for them. Now, they are in heaven, cheering us on as we run our races. Just as we see worldly runners using lighter and lighter attire for their races, we must get down to our spiritual running weight. We do this by getting rid of all the cares and worries of this world. Jesus instructs us to “cast our cares upon Him”. When we do this, we are spiritually lighter and ready to run. We must stay focused on the prize, an eternity with Jesus. We do this by focusing on what Jesus did while He was here on earth and imitating Him. He is our hero and our champion. If we stay faithful and run with endurance to the finish line, we will be rewarded. We will be offended in this world, but most of us will never be offended to the point of dying for Jesus. Since we probably won’t have to die for Jesus, let’s live for Him.
22 I was so foolish and ignorant— I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you. — Psalm 73:22
Psalm 73:22-28 NLT Have you ever wondered if God thinks about us in these terms? I am sure that satan, the old deceiver, would like for us to believe that He does. If we have ever had these kind of thoughts, we should be like the Psalmist here. In his very next breath (or verse in this case), he immediately gets his head on straight by remembering what has happened in every instance in the past. The Psalmist realizes that he is speaking from a bitter heart and he has been questioning God’s wisdom. God never leaves us nor forsakes us nor does He cast us from His presence. Instead, He reaches down to us and if we reach up to Him, He takes us by the hand and continues to lead us toward our glorious destiny. The Psalmist remembers that God is our strength, our fortress and our shield. We allow satan to sneak these silly ideas into our minds when we are focused on the horizontal. We need to stay focused on the vertical. That means spending time alone with God, praising and thanking Him for His goodness and His blessings. If we do this, we can be assured that God will set the rest of the world straight in His own time. “The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
In Psalms 10-13, David seems to be more focused on those who are bent on doing evil than what God has done for him. He questions God about why those people seem to be more successful than the righteous. It is a question that many, if not all, of us have asked at sometime or other. Why are bad things happening to good people while the bad people seem to be receiving blessings? God doesn’t seem to answer David directly, but rather allows David to arrive at his own conclusion. David never gives up on God, even though he questions why God allows such things and why they continue for so long. He also questions whether God can hear his prayers or not. When we are going through those rough patches, it is encouraging to know that we are not the only ones to wonder where God is and what He is up to. Because David is a man “after God’s own heart”, he arrives at the right conclusion. God is exactly where He is supposed to be doing exactly what He should be doing. He always has been, He is and He always will be there watching over us and doing what is best for us even though at times, it doesn’t “feel” like it. Those are the times we have to ignore “feelings” and stand firm on the knowledge that God is always with us and we are never alone. Those are the times that God allows so that we know whether or not our head knowledge has become heart knowledge. If what we know in our heads has taken root in our hearts, then we will pass the test when God examines us. Should we fail, God has no qualms about having us take the test again and again until we pass it.