If you ever think about how hard things are for you as you live and serve in the Christian life, Hebrews 12 may have some good words for you: get a little perspective by pondering the hardships that Jesus endured for you.
— :2 “for the joy set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame”. We can know that whatever Jesus calls us to do, it will not match the agony of the cross which He endured for us!
— :3 is a good word for many of us: “For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that YOU will not grow weary and lose heart.” It should bolster our spirits in the hostility that WE face, to consider what HE endured. “So that you will not grow weary and lose heart” is a needed word for many of us in our service and ministry!
— :4 “You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin”. Whatever you are facing, they haven’t killed you — and in the American church, they are probably NOT! Do not think of yourself as “oppressed” when your “persecutions” have fallen short of that standard! Jesus Himself — and MANY of your brethren — have paid that price!
It is easy to be discouraged in our ministries when we meditate on our sufferings. But Hebrews 12 directs us to meditate on something else: the sufferings of Jesus for us. It puts our hardships in perspective!