Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
One sure way to replenish one’s spiritual life is to get the order of faith and feelings right. Feelings follow faith. I think it was Bill Bright, the founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, who said that faith was the engine (as in a train) and feelings were the caboose. Today, if you are living in your caboose, it’s time for a correction of perspective. Notice that I didn’t write “a change of perspective.” When I’m living in my caboose, I am there because I lack perspective. I don’t need an adjustment, I need repair.
Christ forgives our sins, yet He also gives us the strength and will to “lay aside every weight.” And some feelings can be heavy indeed. It’s time to lay them aside. Sometimes when I run, I overdress, especially during this winter that hasn’t arrived yet. Running with heavy, sweaty, overheating clothes really slows me down, and I’m pretty slow as it is. I experience this same failure when I’m letting my feelings run the show. I’m emotionally overdressed. I need to shed some feelings, just lay them aside. How about you? Advent and Christmas are times when the heavy feelings we’re lugging around sometimes seem to get even heavier. The message of Jesus is one of freedom from sin and its consequences in terms of how we live on the inside as well as on the outside. This message of Jesus is simple too. “Look to me,” He says. You can’t have your eyes on your broken heart or your broken emotional life while looking to Him. You look at one thing or the other. And where you look determines where you go.
May God bless you as you run with endurance the race marked out for you by putting faith in Christ before everything else, especially your feelings.