ODJ: Whose Story?

March 8, 2018 

READ: Hebrews 12:1-3, 22-29 

You have come to Jesus, the one who mediates the new covenant between God and people (v.24).

I felt like quitting. I’d given all I had, and it wasn’t enough. I’d failed, and I didn’t feel like trying again. I wanted to crawl into bed, pull the covers over my head and sleep until forever. How could I possibly keep going?

I found the heart to go on when I realised I’d come to the end of myself. I needed to realise that my life isn’t really about me. I’m just a role player in the larger story of Jesus and the people of God.

Hebrews 12 explains. The chapter begins by encouraging us to “run with endurance the race God has set before us,” knowing that “we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses” and “keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith” (vv.1-3). The chapter ends by reprising the theme of God’s people joyfully serving Him. We are a part of the assembly of God’s firstborn children, whose names are written in heaven”. We can “come to God himself . . . to Jesus, the one who mediates the new covenant between God and people” (vv.22-24).

To Jesus. I self-destruct when I make my family, friends or career about me. I slowly suffocate each, as I demand more than they can possibly deliver. And that’s when things are going well. How can I recover when I fail?

Everything changes when I remember my life has been woven into the one true story of Jesus. My value doesn’t depend on the success of my efforts but on the larger story to which I belong. The grand ending of this story is guaranteed, regardless of how my own life goes. No matter what, “we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable.” This is reason enough to get up and try again as we joyfully give thanks to God (v.28).

—Mike Wittmer

365-day plan: Judges 6:1-40

Read Hebrews 11:32-40 and reflect on what these very different saints had in common. 
When do you feel like quitting? How might the larger story of Jesus motivate you to keep working for His kingdom even when you aren’t seeing results?