Geoff began a new series this week called Speak Up. We answered the question:
Who do we Speak Up for?
In our faith in Jesus things can get really complicated. As we seek to turn every thought, every worry, every aspiration towards Jesus. Sometimes we get too technical or too freaked or too pressured or too lazy and we take our eyes off Jesus.
The most basic idea in following Jesus, in being a Christian, is to keep your eyes on Jesus.
And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. (Hebrews 12:1b-2a NLT)
As we run the race of life that God has set before us, a race of endurance, rather than a sprint. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus. Jesus, the champion. The champion who trains us. But doesn’t just train us, he is the initiator, the author of our faith. He began it all, it is all based on him. Without Jesus’ life, death and resurrection we do not have a faith. So he initiates our faith. And he perfects, or finishes our faith. We don’t just look to Jesus to be saved, but we look to Jesus to continue to perfect and finish our faith throughout our entire lifetime and into eternity.
In our life of faith we need to keep our eyes set on Jesus, who begins and finishes out faith.
There are so many things that can draw our eyes away from Jesus. Success in life draws our eyes away from him. Disappointment in life draws our eyes away from him. Offence. Hurt. Boredom. Busyness.
I know that stress, worries and anxiety are very real struggles for many of us. I’ve talked with and prayed for some you in your worries, fears, stresses and anxieties. And for every person I’ve prayed with, there are bound to be dozens of others where other people are praying with you, or maybe you’re suffering in silence.
Jesus doesn’t promise to immediately take away the wind and the waves, but he asks you to have courage because he is here. He is with you as you lie awake in bed at night. He is with you as your life rocks in the waves. And he invites you to walk on the waves and through the wind with your eyes set on him, the initiator and perfecter of your faith.
If someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way. (1 Peter 3:15-16 NLT)
When you go through difficult times and you keep your eyes on Jesus, and you experience the hope that only he can bring, that gives you something to share with others! Jesus wants you to be ready to explain to anyone, at any time, about your hope as a believer in him. And often it’s through difficult times that we can share our hope in Jesus.