***Just to be clear, before reading this, you should know that I did not write this song. However, this song does move my heart deeply.***
It is so easy to give up. Trust me, I've been there. We dive down deep with people and find joy there.
But then people hurt us. People betray us.
We hurt people. We betray people.
It happens to the best of us.
Jesus knew that feeling of betrayal better than anyone. Yet He stayed fixed on His Father.
The thing is, life is hard. Relationships are confusing. Community is messy.
Even though it's easy to lose heart, we have another option, friends!
I love how Eugene Peterson worded 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 in The Message:
So we're not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There's far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can't see now will last forever.
During my three and a half years in college I have had seasons of crazy good joy and seasons of "I'm gonna pull my hair out if one more person breathes in my direction" kind of crazy. But one thing has kept me steadfast. One thing has been my anchor. You guessed it—Jesus.
Honestly friends, in those moments where you want to cry and scream because your professors all give you group project assignments, and you get stuck with the crazies... When all of your friends think you hate them because you've been cooped up in your room all week trying to catch up on the piles of reading assignments due yesterday... When you've been praying and praying, and reading your Bible EVERY DAY, but it doesn't seem like God is there...
Fix your eyes on Jesus.
I know, easier said than done. I get it. Truly, I do, but do you think it was easy for Daniel to fix his eyes when lions were surrounding him? Was it easy for David to fix his eyes when Goliath was towering over him? Was it easy when Noah was the only one who believed God would flood the earth? Probably not!
What makes us as Christians distinct from the world is our peace in the midst of chaos, our love in the midst of hate, our mercy in the midst of judgement, and our joy in the midst of complaining. Our call is hard. We have to go against the flow of the culture we live in. We have to fix our eyes on Jesus and keep running the race in front of us!
Our enemy, the devil is prowling around, waiting for us to give up or compromise our values! We have to stay on guard and fight for our King who has set the most perfect example. Brothers and sisters, we have to fix our eyes on Jesus with all that we've got!
"Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we'd better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he's there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!" (Hebrews 12:1-3, MSG)
Click below to listen to the song: