Hebrews 12:2-3 (TLB) Keep your eyes on Jesus, our leader and instructor. He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy he knew would be his afterwards; and now he sits in the place of honor by the throne of God.
If you want to keep from becoming fainthearted and weary, think about his patience as sinful men did such terrible things to him.
In this life we need courage. A life without courage can only be full of disappointment and mediocrity.
Jesus was the Lord in Heaven, the Eternal, Holy, Almighty Son of the Heavenly Father.
He dared to come into this world as a human being, to be born as a baby boy.
He dared to grow up in a village of small minded gossips where he was tormented because they thought he was an illegitimate child.
He dared to preach the truth and provoke the religious leaders, knowing this would lead to his arrest and cruel execution on the cross.
He dared to trust a small group of followers to be the founders of a new movement which would transform the world for God.
He dared to choose you and me before the foundation of the world, so that as Christians we would be His representatives on earth.
He knew we would often fail but in spite of that he dared to entrust us with His name and His mission.
We must not let Him down.
But you can trust Him, that He will not let you down. He was the originator and creator of your faith, not you. He called you and you responded by receiving Him.
John 1:12 (TLB) But to all who received him, he gave the right to become children of God. All they needed to do was to trust him to save them.
Then you probably made a wonderful discovery, that the love of God was a great liberation, that you experienced a wonderful personal closeness to the Spirit of God, something you had no idea of before you knew Jesus.
But then you encountered hard tests and disappointments. You may have been badly misunderstood by friends or family or you had bad experiences in church or you experienced deep rejection from people you expected to support you.
You may have set out to do something for God but failed or other Christians let you down, perhaps even betrayed you. Perhaps you made some really bad mistakes. You may have chosen the wrong job, the wrong church to join or the wrong person to marry.
You husband or wife may have betrayed you or you were badly mistreated by you church leaders. Perhaps your parents or your children turned against you or it may be that your life is in ruins because of your own sins.
You may have struggled for years with failures and disappointments until you seriously doubted if you would make it to heaven.
Or you may have lowered your expectations of success and fulfilment in this life while you grimly waited until the time when death would open the door to a merciful release into heaven.
But right now God wants to speak to you. He wants you to know that He still has a plan and a purpose for your life on this earth.
God wants to raise up and restore His disappointed children to a new life of blessing and breakthrough enabled by His power and perfect love.
Jesus suffered and died on the cross to save you from your disappointment. Jesus is right with you now, calling you to believe and hope again, to dare to love again.