Looking to Jesus

Heavenly Father I praise You for the reminder each year of the sacrifice made on my behalf. I praise You for offering up Jesus on the cross for my sins. As a father, and having lost a son at 21 years of age along with losing multiple births, I have a hard time imagining or understanding the strength and love it must have taken to let Christ endure the rejection, the pain, and the terrible death on the cross. Knowing you are omnipotent, omnipresent and all-knowing still does not make it easy, even though I know I will see Philip in heaven some day does not make today easy. This is part of why I put my trust in You, because not only do You understand but You walk with me and comfort me.  

Since I am encompassed with such a great cloud of witnesses, help me to lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily entangles me, and let me run with endurance the race that is set before me. I will look to Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. I will try to fathom and consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest I become weary and feel like my heart is ready to give up. I have not yet resisted bloodshed while striving against sin. And at times I have forgotten the exhortation addressed to me as a son: “My son, do not despise the discipline from the Lord, nor grow weary when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and scourges every son whom He receives.” I will do my best to endure discipline: God is dealing with me as with a son. For what son is there whom a father does not discipline? If I am without discipline, of which everyone has partaken, then I would be an illegitimate child and not a son. Furthermore, I have a human father, and he corrected me as a child, and I gave him respect. Shall I not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For He indeed disciplined me for a short time according to His judgment, but He does so for my profit, that I may partake of His holiness. Now no discipline seems to be joyful at the time, but grievous. Yet afterward, it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness in me because I have been trained by it. [Hebrews 12:1-11] 

Grace and peace will be multiplied to me through the knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord. His divine power has given to me all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of God who has called me to His glory and excellence, by which He has given to me exceedingly great and precious promises so that through these things I might become a partaker of the divine nature and escape the corruption that is in the world through lust. For this reason, help me to make every effort to add virtue to my faith; and to my virtue, knowledge, and to my knowledge, self-control; and to my self-control, patient endurance; and to my patient endurance, godliness; and to my godliness, brotherly kindness; and to my brotherly kindness love. For if all of these reside in me and abound, they will ensure that I will neither be useless nor unfruitful in the knowledge of Jesus Christ my Lord. Help me to diligently make my calling and election sure so that when I add all these areas into my life I will not stumble and will be able to enter into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ which will be abundantly provided for me. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 2 Peter 1:3-11 MEV version