Hebrews 12:2-3 Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God. I am amazed, Jesus, that the prize set before You was our salvation, and that was what motivated You to endure such terrible anguish. It was not anything for Yourself. Well, OK, so it was for You that You would have us in heaven with You for all eternity, and for You that was the goal. You really wanted us there with You, because You love us so dearly. We were the prize worth the pain. So in a very real sense it was a prize for You. Plus the competition was with satan for our souls. You overcame the 'great enemy', You beat him, You demolished him, You put him in his place in hell for all eternity, thus giving all humanity a way to freedom from his clutches. You, Jesus, did it for us. Thank You!
3. Just think of Him Who endured from sinners such grievous opposition and bitter hostility against Himself [reckon up and consider it all in comparison with your trials], so that you may not grow weary or exhausted, losing heart and relaxing and fainting in your minds.
OK Jesus, as we come across trials in our lives and we remember that You endured all physical, emotional, and mental anguish for us, because You love us so very much! This awareness can be an incentive, an extra push, an additional source of strength and support for us so we can hang in there. . . also not just hang in there, but have a focus of truth to pour our hope into knowing You love us deeply and You are always faithful to Your Word. This forms a handhold for our minds to cling to, so we do not weaken our grip on You and our trust in You.
And You will cause a reward to come to us for all the harsh and painful times we endure in our 'race', when we finish the course set before us. Our ultimate reward, of course, is the same as Yours, Jesus, in that we get to share eternity with You, be in Your Presence, loving You and being loved by You, and continually learn from You, our Master Teacher. And Jesus, as we run our race we also bring others along with us to share together the most magnificent existence that could ever be. No one can give us greater joy than You, and You will be our constant source of joy! Our prize is worth every trial.