Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. Hebrews 12:1-2
Just lately we have had even more things than usual seeking to distract our attention from “fixing our eyes on Jesus” – Hong Kong’s evolving divisions and street protests have created a frenzy of news, opinions, rifts, social media exchanges, discussion, frustration and friction.
Whatever our views on the issues involved, we are all affected by the crossfire of controversy and can easily find ourselves sucked into WhatsApp wars, news-update addiction, forwarding unverified news, anger, worry, fear, judgment and even tribalism – yet we are called to rise above them and “fix our eyes on Jesus” instead. What does that look like and how is it done?
The verses above remind us that exercising our faith muscles is the key to a healthy response. The passage follows from Hebrews 11, which records the faith shown by heroes from Abraham through Moses to Rahab in facing their challenges. Like them, we run the risk of endangering our spiritual walk if we are not careful to “throw off […] the sin that so easily entangles” when we respond to the situation, e.g. if we leap to passing judgment on others. But if we can keep in mind that our responses are part of our spiritual walk – a race of faith marked out for us by God – then it becomes easier to focus on the big picture of that race, and avoid fixating on things that won’t help us race well in terms of spiritual development.
So it’s about keeping the right perspective with Jesus at the centre, even (or especially) when we can only see apparently insoluble challenges. We know those are His speciality. Our part is to concentrate on running our race towards Him. I don’t know how the current situation will be resolved, but I take great comfort and peace from knowing by faith that God has the best plan and timing, and is in control.
So let us direct our eyes right by:
- Thanking God for the gift of faith: “confidence in what we hope for, and assurance about what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1).
- Praying that, at this strategic time, we and all God’s people in Hong Kong will show God to the world by exercising our faith muscles to fix our eyes on Jesus, brushing aside any distractions so we can run our race as Christians well.