Professional athletes are often seen as giants among men because they accomplish in one year what it would take most people two lifetimes to do. While we might be tempted to conclude that they look up to no one, many sports stars have their own heroes. For instance, Muhammad Ali was influenced by boxer Sugar Ray Robinson; Tony Romo was influenced by Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach; Phil Mickelson was influenced by Arnold Palmer; and Barry Bonds was influenced by Willie Mays.
As Christians, we also have heroes of the faith. We admire Noah, who, though had never seen rain, built an ark to God’s specifications; likewise, Abraham abandoned his homeland to go where God led him; Joseph refrained from indulging in the desires of the flesh when he had the opportunity; and Moses mightily led the Israelites out of Egypt with God’s help.
As great as these men were, there is none so great as Jesus. According to Hebrews 12:2, we should “…[fix] our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” The reason we should do this, according to the Hebrews writer, is because “For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
But it wasn’t just the agony of the cross Jesus suffered; nor was it the flogging and beatings that proceeded it. It was the opposition from the scribes and Pharisees and countless others throughout his time on earth who laughed at Him; refused to believe Him; and attempted to sabotage His ministry on various occasions.
The point is that if Jesus could endure that kind of grief, misery, and heartache, then He will help you to do the same. So when you consider the inspiring stories of men and women who overcame incredible odds, make sure Jesus is at the top of your list.