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.
INTRODUCTION AND OVERVIEW
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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]
LINK FOR FURTHER STUDY ON THIS PASSAGE
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
LINKS WORTH CHECKING OUT
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:
LINKS FOR BIBLE STUDIES
Lifting Up Jesus Bible Studies:
Amazing Facts Bible Studies:
Hope Awakens Bible Study Guides:
Glow Tract Video Bible Studies:
LINKS FOR BIBLE PROPHECY SEMINARS
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: