Hebrews 12:3 - So keep your mind on Jesus Then you won't get discouraged and give up.

Hebrews 12:1 (CEV) So keep your mind on 
Jesus, who put up with many insults from sinners. 
Then you wont get discouraged and give up. 


Your Attention, Please
   Toddlers are notorious for their short 
attention spans. Older children and especially adults, 
however, can fix their attention on something for 
quite some time. Have you ever tried to pull a 
ten-year-old away from a favorite video game? Or how 
about trying to pull an avid sports fan away from 
the game of the week?  
   It is with this kind of absorption that 
the writer of Hebrews says we should fix our 
attention on Jesus. Unlike video games and sporting 
events, focusing our entire attention on Jesus can 
benefit us in many ways, the most important of which 
is a deep relationship with God.  
   Jesus suffered tremendous humiliation, 
injustice, and physical pain to do God's will (Hebrews 
12:2-4). Strangers arrested him for crimes he didn't 
commit, beat him, mocked him, and spat on him. 
Friends deserted him. His heavenly Father left him 
to die alone. He died slowly and painfully in 
the company of common thieves. He became an 
offering for our sin (see 2 Corinthians 5:21). That 
is the price Jesus paid to obey his heavenly 
   The struggles you endure to follow Jesus 
are real. It takes energy and commitment to say 
no to sinful desires, to do good deeds that you 
don't want to do, and to discipline yourself to 
pray and study God's Word on a regular basis.  
   When you feel discouraged in your 
Christian life, think of Jesus and all he went through 
to do what God wanted. Then take heart knowing 
that you can do what God requires of you by his 
strength and grace. Stay focused on him. [The One 
Year Through the Bible Devotional by Dave 


The Christian life involves hard work. It 
requires us to give up whatever endangers our 
relationship with God, to run patiently, and to struggle 
against sin with the power of the Holy Spirit. To 
live effectively, we must keep our eyes on Jesus. 
We will stumble if we look away from him to 
stare at ourselves or at the circumstances 
surrounding us. We should be running for Christ, not 
ourselves, and we must always keep him in sight. [Life 
Application SB] 

When we face hardship and discouragement, it 
is easy to lose sight of the big picture. But 
we're not alone; there is help. Many have already 
made it through life, enduring far more difficult 
circumstances than we have experienced. Suffering is the 
training ground for Christian maturity. It develops 
our patience and makes our final victory sweet. 
[Life Application SB] 

   God is the source of life and light and 
joy to the universe. Like rays of light from the 
sun, like the streams of water bursting from a 
living spring, blessings flow out from Him to all 
His creatures. And wherever the life of God is 
in the hearts of men, it will flow out to 
others in love and blessing.  
   Our Saviour's joy was in the uplifting 
and redemption of fallen men. For this He 
counted not His life dear unto Himself, but endured 
the cross, despising the shame. So angels are 
ever engaged in working for the happiness of 
others. This is their joy. That which selfish hearts 
would regard as humiliating service, ministering 
to those who are wretched and in every way 
inferior in character and rank, is the work of 
sinless angels. The spirit of Christ's 
self-sacrificing love is the spirit that pervades heaven and 
is the very essence of its bliss. This is the 
spirit that Christ's followers will possess, the 
work that they will do.  
   When the love of Christ is enshrined in 
the heart, like sweet fragrance it cannot be 
hidden. Its holy influence will be felt by all with 
whom we come in contact. The spirit of Christ in 
the heart is like a spring in the desert, 
flowing to refresh all and making those who are 
ready to perish, eager to drink of the water of 
   Love to Jesus will be manifested in a 
desire to work as He worked for the blessing and 
uplifting of humanity. It will lead to love, 
tenderness, and sympathy toward all the creatures of our 
heavenly Father's care.  SC77,8 

   Christ's death proves God's great love 
for man. It is our pledge of salvation. To 
remove the cross from the Christian would be like 
blotting the sun from the sky. The cross brings us 
near to God, reconciling us to Him. With the 
relenting compassion of a father's love, Jehovah looks 
upon the suffering that His Son endured in order 
to save the race from eternal death, and 
accepts us in the Beloved.  
   Without the cross, man could have no 
union with the Father. On it depends our every 
hope. From it shines the light of the Saviour's 
love, and when at the foot of the cross the sinner 
looks up to the One who died to save him, he may 
rejoice with fullness of joy, for his sins are 
pardoned. Kneeling in faith at the cross, he has 
reached the highest place to which man can attain.  


Strength to Endure
   How easily Jesus could have said, You 
know what? Forget this. No one here appreciates 
me. Im not dying for these people. They 
dont deserve it. 
   After all, think about what He had to 
face. His own disciples effectively abandoned Him. 
Judas Iscariot, His friend, betrayed Him. Then He 
was beaten physically, with fists to His face. 
His beard was ripped out. A crown of thorns was 
pressed on His forehead. His back was ripped open 
with Roman whips. He was jeered and laughed at 
and spit on. And then He was nailed to a cross. 
   It was His love for us that kept Him 
going. We read in Hebrews that because of the 
joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, 
disregarding its shame (12:2 NLT). What was the joy 
awaiting Him? It was you. It was me. It was us. He 
did it for us. He knew there was no other way 
that we could be made right with the God that we 
had offended. 
   Verse 2 also tells us that Jesus is 
the champion who initiates and perfects our 
faith (NLT). God finishes what He starts. He will 
complete the work in us. 
   You might say, Greg, I cant go on 
another day. 
   Yes, you can. Get your eyes off yourself. 
Look at Jesus. Think of what He did for you. 
Think about how He went to the cross for you. 
Hes the one who will give you the strength to 
   When you take your eyes off the Lord and 
put them on people or on the church or on 
circumstances, you will start to stumble. Get your eyes off 
those things and look at Jesus. He will never fail 
you. He will never let you down. He will keep you 
running in the race of life. [By Greg Laurie from 
Harvest Ministries; https://www.harvestdaily.com] 

Think of These Three Things for Mental Health
   God wants you to be healthy in every area 
of your life " mentally, emotionally, 
spiritually, and physically. For mental health, you must 
focus your mind on the right things. 
   1. Think about Jesus.
   Youve heard the saying, You become 
what you think about most. If you want to 
become more like Jesus, you have to fill your 
thoughts with him. 
   Hebrews 12:3 says, Think about 
Jesus example. He held on while wicked people were 
doing evil things to him. So do not get tired and 
stop trying (NCV). 
   2. Think about others.
   The Bible says in Philippians 2:4, 
Dont just think about your own affairs, but be 
interested in others, too, and in what they are 
doing (TLB). 
   Do you realize how countercultural that 
is? Our world teaches you to think about 
yourself and nobody else. But Jesus was 
countercultural, and when you think about him, youll more 
naturally think of others. 
   3. Think about eternity.
   No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and 
no mind has imagined what God has prepared for 
those who love him (1 Corinthians 2:9 NLT). 
When you start focusing on truths like that, all 
of your problems seem inferior compared to the 
glory, the joy, and the pleasure of the things 
awaiting us in eternity. 
   Your mind is your greatest asset and also 
the greatest battleground. Ask God to help you 
make the choice every day to feed on Gods 
Word, free your mind of destructive thoughts, and 
fill your mind with Jesus, others, and eternity. 
Then youll have won the battle. [Daily 
Devotional by Rick Warren: 

   I wake up each morning with eternity in 
my crosshairs. I have my sights on heaven. It's 
what keeps me going. True, nearly fifty years of 
living in a wheelchair is incredibly challenging - 
especially at my age. But I'm a little like Jesus who, 
as today's Scripture tells us, for the joy set 
before Him endured His cross. So, should I not 
endure mine? Especially when I consider the joy 
that is awaiting me, the happiness that my 
response to my wheelchair is accruing for me. 
   Look, friend, the Bible says your 
afflictions are winning for you a rich reward in heaven 
(2Co. 4:17). That means every time you muster a 
godly response to your trials, your eternal joy 
becomes weightier, bigger, happier, and much more 
glorious. The old Puritan Thomas Manton once wrote 
that a man's "greatest care should be for that 
place where he lives longest." So join me in 
setting your sights on heaven and living for joy.  
   Father, give me a clearer idea of how 
grand and glorious heavenly joy really is. Show me 
Your gladness so I might better bear my sadness; 
reveal to me Your happiness so I might embrace my 
hardships; infuse into my heart Your joy so I can take 
up my cross daily and smile. [A Spectacle of 
Glory by Joni Eareckson Tada and Larry Libby] 


   It was a cold January morning, so I 
cranked up the heat in my old home, wrapped myself 
in a blanket, and snuggled in my prayer chair. 
Sipping some steaming coffee, I glanced at my day 
planner, which was opened to yesterday's date - but 
none of my goals were crossed off! I groaned. I 
fell into bed exhausted last night. What did I do 
all day? I flipped back and wondered, What did I 
do all week? The only thing I'd accomplished 
had been distractions. 
   I flipped open my Bible and whined to 
God. I'm so discouraged. Will I ever learn to 
focus? Suddenly, a housefly, which must have been 
tucked away for winter hibernation, woke up from 
the heat. It flew around my lamp, nearly bopping 
me in the head. I swatted at it, but it dodged 
   Once again I read a couple of verses. 
Bzzzz, bzzz, bzzz. Warp speed, the critter skimmed 
past my nose and dove around the lightbulb in 
crazy spiraling circles. It looked like a fighter 
pilot on a bombing mission as he flew straight for 
the light. Bam! He crashed head-on and fell into 
my coffee! "Gross." 
   When I picked up my coffee cup to dump 
it, I had a strange thought. Distractions are 
like that pesky fly; they discourage me and I end 
up tossing away my goals. It's time to focus on 
God and tackle my days with Him. 
   The following week I consciously 
struggled to keep my thoughts on God, asking Him to 
lead me. Each day I whittled away at my goals. 
   Lord, help me stay tuned to You. Amen. By 
Rebecca Ondov [Walking in Grace 2021 Devotional by 
Guideposts and Zondervan] 


A Hard Path To Joy
   The path to joy is full of pitfalls, 
valleys and steep climbs. That's the way it was for 
Jesus. But through all the hardships, he kept 
focused on "the joy set before him." Jesus was able 
to endure his cross because he kept in mind the 
joy of reunion with his Father, the joy of 
triumph over sin, the joy of all his divine rights 
finally restored to him, and perhaps most wonderful 
of all, the joy of being eternally surrounded 
by the very people for whom he bled and died. 
This is why Jesus Christ was able to endure the 
cross and scorn its shame. All for joy! 
   It's very much the same for you and me. 
Our path to joy is full of pitfalls, too. But 
Christ has gone before us, imparting to us his 
enabling power to suffer with him. Jesus assures us 
in Matthew 5:11, "Blessed [or happy and joyful] 
are you when others revile you and persecute 
you... Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is 
great in heaven." And exactly what is our reward 
at the end of all our hardships? Our reward 
will be to enjoy God with the same joy that Jesus 
has in his Father. Oh happy day! 
   Christians have no reason to be miserable 
or pessimistic. There is no room for gloom and 
doom when you're a believer. If your heart is 
troubled by pessimism or doubts, repeat several times 
today's verse, especially the part, "Consider him 
who endured... so that you will not grow weary 
and lose heart." This is the secret to finding 
joy. Consider him. 
   Lord of Joy, I delight in your gladness 
today and I want to honor you by taking up my 
cross and joyfully following you. [Joni Eareckson 
Tada Daily Devotional: 

Run for Him
   Discouraging things can happen when you 
follow Jesus. Life doesnt always go the way you 
hoped it would go. Tragedies befall you. People 
let you down. You ask questions that go 
unanswered, and sometimes you wonder if you can keep 
   But whom did you sign up to follow? I 
signed up, if you will, to follow Jesus. Jesus 
always has been what He promised to be for me. 
Hes never failed me once. Hes never let me 
down. And Hes the author and finisher of my 
faith, which means that God finishes what He 
   He started a work in your life, and He 
wants to continue it. But for that to happen, you 
need to keep your eyes on Jesus, who ran His race 
for you. 
   He had His back ripped open by a Roman 
whip when He was lashed 39 times. After that, He 
picked up a huge cross and carried it through the 
streets of Jerusalem. Then they nailed His hands and 
feet to that cross, and He hung there. 
   The people cried out in unison, 
Crucify Him! His own disciples were largely in 
hiding. One of His own handpicked friends, Judas 
Iscariot, betrayed Him. 
   How easily Jesus could have said, 
Im done here, people. No one apparently 
understands why Ive come to this world and what Im 
about to do, so Im not going to do it. And 
He would have been justified. 
   So why did Jesus do it? What kept Him 
going? Hebrews 12:2 gives us the answer: Because 
of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, 
disregarding its shame (NLT). 
   What was the joy awaiting Him? It was you 
and me. He knew what His death and resurrection 
would accomplish, and that was the joy that kept 
Him going. 
   He ran His race for us. And we need to 
run our race for Him. [Greg Laurie from Harvest 
Ministries; https://www.harvestdaily.com re Gal. 5:7 


Linger in My presence a while. Rein in your 
impulses to plunge into the day's activities. 
Beginning your day alone with Me is essential 
preparation for success. A great athlete takes time to 
prepare himself mentally for the feat ahead of him 
before he moves a muscle. Similarly, your time of 
being still in My Presence equips you for the day 
ahead of you. Only I know what will happen to you 
this day. I have arranged the events you will 
encounter as you go along your way. If you are not 
adequately equipped for the journey, you will grow 
weary and lose heart. Relax with Me while I ready 
you for action. (Eph. 2:10; Heb. 12:3) [Jesus 
Calling by Sarah Young] 

   I give you Joy in your journey through 
the world. This sparkling gift is not a luxury; 
it's a necessity! There are bumps in the road 
ahead, as well as sharp curves, ascents, and 
descents. Without Joy in your heart, you will become 
weary and discouraged. 
   Joy is not dependent on the circumstances 
in your life. It can transcend them all! This 
is why impoverished people are often more 
joyful than those who have material wealth. Sick - 
and even dying - people can also be joyful when 
they're trusting in Me as Savior, Lord, and Friend. 
   Seek to spread Joy in the world around 
you. Let My Light reflect from your demeanor - 
through your smiles, your laughter, your words. The 
Holy Spirit will equip you to do this as you give 
Him space in your life. Ask Him to fill you with 
contagious delight. Concentrate on staying close to Me, 
and I will lead you along the path of Life. In 
My Presence there is fullness of Joy. (Heb. 
12:3; Hab. 3:17, 18; Psa. 16:11) [Jesus Always by 
Sarah Young] 

   The world abounds with negative things to 
think about. Sometimes problems - yours or others' 
- seem to shout for your attention. They can 
occupy more and more of your thinking, causing you 
to become weary and discouraged in your soul. 
But remember: You can choose the subject of your 
thoughts. Cry out to Me and I will help you. Turn 
toward Me, letting My Light shine upon you.  
   Do not be defeated by wrong choices you 
have made in the past. And don't let past 
decisions define who you are in the present. Each 
moment provides a fresh opportunity to draw near Me 
and enjoy My Presence. One way to do this is to 
pray, "Jesus, I choose to seek You in the midst of 
my problems." Refuse to get discouraged, even 
if you have to say this hundreds of times 
daily. In this world you will have trouble. But 
take heart! I have overcome the world. You can 
find Peace in Me. (Heb. 12:3; Psa. 34:6, 7; John 
16:33) [Jesus Today by Sarah Young] 


Hebrews 12:1-3 - THE RACE OF FAITH - RUNNING 



If anyone has a paraphrase, commentary or 
testimony on this passage of Scripture, either 
personal or otherwise, I would be interested in 
hearing from you.  Thanks in advance and let's keep 
uplifting Jesus that all might be drawn to Him. Fred 


Most Important Decision in Life: 

A Man without Equal by Bill Bright: 

Seeking God Made Real: 

Prayer Made Real: 

Importance of Choice: 
http://creationhealth.com/CREATION-Health/Choice [click on video]  

Medical Seminar on Healthful Living by David 
DeRose, MD, MPH: 


Lifting Up Jesus Bible Studies: 

Amazing Facts Bible Studies: 

Hope Awakens Bible Study Guides: 

Glow Tract Video Bible Studies: 


Revelation Now by Pastor Doug Batchelor: 

Unlocking Bible Prophecies by Cami Oetman of 
Adventist World Radio: 

Hope Awakens by John Bradshaw of IIW: 

Prophecies Decoded by Pastor Ron Clouzet: