Weary in the Race

Bible Book: Galatians  6 : 9
Subject: Faithfulness; Spiritual Vitality; Weariness
Introduction

Hebrews 12:3-5

"Life can do a number on us.”

· Have you ever been “weary” in the race of life?

· Have you ever been “weary” in your marriage? A good marriage takes a lot of work.

· Ever feel like giving up?

· Do some people decide to “quit life” for a number of reasons?

· Have you ever been “weary”, given up or given in, only later to regret your decision? Why does one quit?

· Could it be we cannot see the “end in sight?”

· No hope of getting better?

· Don’t wish to face the consequences, therefore they quit?

Have you ever wondered what might have happened if you had not given in or given up? Any runner knows that the body must be disciplined if the race is to be run to its finish.

· Does the race ever weary you?

· Does the race ever seem so long?

· Does the race ever seem to be harder than at other times? More hills, more obstacles, extreme weather, etc.

I. Our Consideration (3-4)

A. Everyone needs an Example.

“For consider Him” (aorist middle imperative)

· We must look time and time again to Jesus.

· Our decision - we care not to be pressured by looking to any other.

· It’s a command to be obeyed at once.

Consider means to compare, to weigh. He suffered shame.

B. Everyone needs an Endurer.

“who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself” to bear up or abide under courageously

‘hostility”- to contradict, oppose; opposition in acts seems to be implied.

C. Everyone needs an Encourager.

“lest “warns us

“you become weary” primarily signifies to work, then, as the effect of continuous labor, to be weary. Same word used in James 5:15 for “sick.”

“discouraged in your souls” to be tired out; fainting in your souls, to be enfeebled, to relax, to unloose as in a bow string.

Two vivid words used: weary and discouraged (fainting). Aristotle used these words of an athlete who flings himself on the ground in collapse after he has surged past the winning post. Hebrews is saying: “Don’t give up too soon; don’t collapse until the winning post is passed.”

Note the arguments of the writer: He pleads with them to compare what they have to suffer with what Jesus suffered. Some of life’s challenges/struggles cause us to want to give in or give up. Hebrews 12:4, “You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin.”

Verses 3 and 4 stress the essential costliness of the Christian faith. It cost the lives of the martyrs; it cost the life of the Son of God. Something which cost so much cannot be lightly discarded. A heritage like that is not something that a person can hand down tarnished.

Verse 4 refers to Jesus’ battle against sin; He shed His own blood. Resisted sin, even to the point of shedding blood. He “resisted” means to stand in opposition against in the line of battle, to stand face to face.

“to bloodshed”- up to blood.

He stood face to face with sin, gave His life for the Gospel. None of the Hebrews to whom this letter was written had endured what Jesus had endured. None had given his life for the Gospel, nor had any of them lived an absolutely sinless life as Jesus had done, living in perfect obedience to the Father, and thus deserving no punishment at all. On the contrary, some of their (our) suffering was deserved and was intended for their spiritual discipline and growth.

So, in your weariness, I plead with you to this consideration, “look to Jesus, consider Him.”

II. Our Exhortation (5)

In this passage the author addresses the subject of how God uses suffering and adversity in the lives of Christians that oftentimes lead to weariness and discouragement. Rather than allow their hard experiences to nurture seeds of doubt about their relationship to God, they are to recognize that the testimony of scripture trumps their experience.

“And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:”

“forgotten” is intensified in the text implying completely forgotten; entirely forgotten, to forget completely. The believers were in danger of developing amnesia brought on by their many trials.

This passage serves as a “word of encouragement.” When we are weary we contemplate giving up, giving in, going back, but the Lord calls us to “look ahead.” Hebrews 12:2, “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

The nature of Hebrews 12:5 is such as a father might give his son. It is literally the voice of God in conversation with His child.

Proverbs 3:11-12, “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor detest His correction; For whom the Lord loves He corrects, Just as a father the son in whom he delights.” In this passage the Lord magnifies relationship. Here is what this passage says to me, “Going through a difficult time, I am interested in you.”

Know this: The Lord’s discipline is not to add insult to injury as it pertains to our weariness, but to encourage and strengthen us for the race.

In Hebrews 12:11 the writer uses the word for discipline as being “trained by it.” This is the word from which we get our word gymnasium (God gym).

The weary runner drops his hands and has feeble knees (12). The Lord comes to strengthen the weak.

Discipline is a word that combines training, instruction, guidance, reproof, correction, and punishment. The use of the term “rebuke” indicates needed correction as well.

A. 3 Ways to Responding to Discipline

Three ways we respond to the Lord’s discipline that’s intended to help us:

1. Some Despise It

“do not despise” They refuse to acknowledge any reason in themselves for its affliction. They reject the lesson it was designed to teach. They harden themselves in indifference, resolving to bear it with defiant and desperate courage.

2. Some Quit Under It

“nor be discouraged” They become despondent and dispirited, or lose heart and hope.

3. Some Subject and Submit to It

v.9 “be in subjection to the Father” Submissively, lovingly trying to learn the lesson written on the page of the trial. Subjection in affliction is only possible when we can see in it the hand of the Father.

F. B. Myers said: “So long as we look at second causes, at men or things, as being the origin and source of our sorrows, we shall be filled alternately with burning indignation and hopeless grief. But when we come to understand that nothing can happen to us except as our Father permits, and that, though our trials may originate in some lower source, yet they become God’s will for us. Most of the anguish passes away from life’s trials, as soon as we discover our Father’s hand.”

B. 3 Examples of Discipline

2 Corinthians 12: Paul with the thorn in the flesh. His attention was not ultimately on the “messenger of Satan” or the “thorn in the flesh” but on God’s sufficient grace; “strength made perfect in weakness.” He could “boast in his infirmities.”

Charles H. Spurgeon said: “God is too wise to be mistaken, God is too good to be unkind, so when you don’t understand and you don’t see His plan, when you can’t trace His hand, trust His heart.”

The first verse of Steve Green’s “Find Us Faithful”

We're pilgrims on the journey, Of the narrow road

And those who've gone before us line the way

Cheering on the faithful, encouraging the weary

Their lives a stirring testament to God's sustaining grace

What Discipline Does

1. Draw His children closer to Himself.

Psalms 119:67

“Before I was afflicted I went astray,

But now I keep Your word.”

Psalms 119:71

“It is good for me that I have been afflicted, That I may learn Your statutes.”

Psalms 119:75

“I know, O Lord, that Your judgments are right, And that in faithfulness You have afflicted me.”

Psalms 119:72

“The law of Your mouth is better to me

Than thousands of coins of gold and silver.”

2. It convinces us not to sin.

3. It helps us grow and mature.