God can handle the big. When you start out, it’s okay for your part to simply be the small.
And that is all I need to throw off everything that hinders, along with the sin (in the form of fear, anxiety, doubt) that so easily entangles. I will not grow weary and lose heart. I may be down, I may even be broken, but my brokenness will be the key to my healing.
The Hebrews passage reads (NIV):
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, 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. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. -Hebrews 12:1-2Why should I choose this for my theme Bible verse this year? It's at the beginning of verse 2:
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus...
My One Word for this year is Focus. The thing I want to focus on the most is Jesus, because when He is first and foremost in my life, everything else will fall into place.
I have also had reminders and encouragement in the last few days of why and how I can focus on the present, on what God is doing in my life right now, and not worry about the future as I am so apt to do.
God is already IN the future! He is eternal, and exists outside of time (although he chooses to work within time). His existence does not consist of one moment following the next, as it does for us. He is always present in all of time--the past, present, and future. He is already in my future, and therefore, he already knows what's going to happen. He has everything under his control, and is working everything for my good and for his glory. I heard something along these lines on the radio this week, and then Mary Beth at New Life Steward wrote a wonderful post about this very thing.
And that's where "Beloved"s words came in. I can throw off those distractions because God is taking care of the important things in my life. I don't have to worry about the future because God is already there, waiting for me. I can focus on the here-and-now, the important things of this moment, because my future is in God's hands. I need not let the sin that comes with looking at the future (worry, doubt, fear) entangle me in today because those things--worry, doubt, fear--are not necessary.
I can live with joy, right now, because God is in the future, and that allows me to focus on Jesus in each moment.
I'll be looking more at that Hebrews 12 passage in the coming weeks and months. Today I'm going to remember that, by God's grace, I can fix my eyes on Jesus, and live in His joy in this moment.