“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 is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.”–Heb. 12:2-3
Amy Carmichael in Candles in the Dark writes that “The best training is to learn to accept everything as it comes, as from Him whom our soul loves. The tests are always unexpected things, not great things that can be written up, but the common little rubs of life, silly little nothings, things you are ashamed of minding (at all). Yet they can knock a strong man over and lay him very low.”
I wish I could say it wasn’t true, but there have been times when I felt like giving up, quitting, throwing in the towel, etc. It is only by the grace of God that I didn’t. The only reason I didn’t give up is because the Lord never gave up on me. Although His suffering was much greater than mine He never hesitated for a second nor considered quitting. He “endured the cross” (Heb. 12:2), which was far more than I can imagine and unlike anything I will ever experience. He set His face like a flint and did the Father’s will. How then can I ever entertain for one second the thought of quitting? Compared to Him I have never suffered at all.
Someone else said of Heb. 12:2-3, “The writer calls to their mind the example of the Author and Perfecter of their faith to encourage his readers to ‘hang on’ despite the opposition which they were meeting with that endured by Messiah, and to do this in order that they would not be weary, fainting in their souls. Believers today need the same encouragement, especially in our culture which is sliding further and further from Biblical standards and into the abyss of paganism, debauchery and false spirituality, all of which are hostile toward Christianity.” I say “Amen!”. We can only endure by “Looking unto Jesus”.
Spurgeon, said, “He carried His heavy cross, but we only carry a sliver or two of it; He drank His cup to the dregs, and we sip a drop or two at the very most. Consider how He suffered far more than you can ever suffer, and how He is now crowned with glory and honor. And as you are to be like Him, descend like Him into the depths of agony, that with Him you may rise to the heights of glory. The believer under persecution should remember that he is suffering no strange thing, but is only enduring that which fell upon his Master before him. Should the disciple expect to be above his Lord? “If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more the members of his household” (Matt 10:25)? If they had received Christ they would have received us, but since they reject both Christ and His sayings, the followers of Christ must expect that both their persons and their doctrines will be lightly esteemed. We are sometimes apt to think that a charge that is unfounded is very cruel to us. I have heard people say sometimes, and I have laughed when I have heard them say it, “Mr. So-and-so has charged me with such-and-such a thing, but I am quite innocent. I should not have minded if I had been guilty.” I have thought, “Then you ought to have minded it, but being innocent you have no cause to mind it at all.” But is it not so that the more unfounded a charge is, the more deeply it seems to cut us from the very wantonness of its cruelty? Well, then, you know how innocent the Savior was. The next time you feel innocent when you are thus accused “consider the one who endured such hostility by sinners against himself” (Heb 12:3), and who had to suffer both gross charges and unfounded ones.”