Hebrews 12:3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Often emotional exhaustion is worse than physical exhaustion. (The Japanese here doesn’t just say “weary,” but “exhausted.”) The two things necessary to overcome that are perspective and hope, and thinking about Jesus should provide both of those in abundance. When we compare what we are experiencing with what Jesus went through in order to provide salvation for us, our struggles look pretty small. At the same time, the result of His suffering should give us a transcendent hope that will eclipse everything else. Paul put it this way: “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” (2 Corinthians 4:17) Most Christians know that in theory at least, but in our daily lives we are all too prone to forget it. That’s why we need to think about Jesus! As a carpenter, Jesus was certainly familiar with physical labor, but His emotional and spiritual labor on our behalf was far greater, far more taxing. That awareness has strengthened believers down through the centuries, and we need to let it do the same for us.
This chapter is one of my favorite in the whole Bible, with virtually all of it underlined, and I quote it frequently. However, even I could benefit from thinking about Jesus more frequently and deeply. As I am often reminded, familiarity indeed breeds contempt, and I must not gloss over any part of God’s Word simply because I can quote it without thinking. It’s the “without thinking” that’s the problem! I have wide interests and think about an almost infinite variety of things, but I would do well to consciously think about Jesus more. After all, I want to be more like Him, and thoughts often develop into action. That’s why “premeditated” murder is judged much more severely than a “crime of passion.” I’m not going to keep growing more like my Lord without thinking about Him, submerging my thoughts and feelings into Him, to the point that He’s the first thing I think about in the morning and the last thing I think about at night. That is my desire, and I need to be active in my pursuit of it.
Father, thank You for this clear Word. I do think about an incredible variety of things every day, which isn’t bad in itself, but Jesus needs to be front and center. Help me indeed think about my Lord so that I will gain the physical and emotional strength and purity I need for all that I encounter, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!