1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us rub with patience the race that is set before us, 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 is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Heb. 12:1-2
So many things here. But today I just want to address one thing here. But just before I do that, did you notice that we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses? They are listed in Hebrews chapter 11. These are men and women who made it. By the grace of God they saw the reward in the Spirit and surrendered their lives that they might receive it.
But today I want to talk about ‘despising the shame’. The Bible says this was what Jesus did.
At first it did not catch my eye. I never understood what shame Jesus despised. Then, slowly, the Lord taught me.
Have you ever had situations in your life where you were shamed? I mean raw, ordinary shame. I would be surprised if you said “No”.
However well set we are, somewhere in life we all will have situations where we will be put to some form of shame. I can recall many times in my life where I have been shamed. Being shamed was the single most difficult spiritual trial in my life. Probably because it began since childhood…
Anyways, long into my salvation, I still reacted against being shamed. I never realized that our Lord Jesus Christ was also shamed. Then, one day, the Lord opened my eyes. I saw clearly that what I was fighting against was the same thing that the Lord despised. Shame. Our Lord not only endured the cross, He despised shame.
Wow! I had never seen it that way. The ordinary situations that we think are unconnected with the gospel. For me, a simple thing like my wife saying something to me in front of people which I considered offensive or ‘disrepectful’ (and she is a pro at that because she never really minds speaking the truth to whoever she needs to speak it to); something like that could start a conflagration that would have all heaven ceasing every activity to wonder at with open mouths.
But one day I heard the voice of the Lord speak to me. It was very clear. I was all alone when the Lord led me to that scripture. He asked me, “Is the word ‘shame’ there or is it not.”
I said, “It is there.”
The Lord said, “How come you behave as if you have never seen it?”
I said, “As a matter of fact, Lord, I had never seen it. This is my very first time to see it.”
He said, “This is exactly what that scripture is talking about. You must despise shame. Shame of every kind. That is what the cross is for.”
I had never heard anything so clearly. And I knew, just hearing that in my spirit, that I had taken one of the biggest steps in my spiritual walk. That I could despise shame! I had never thought I should.
Ever since that day, I know I not only should despise shame; but I can, too. I am not always able to; in fact, I fail often. But I realize I can laugh at shame. And whenever I manage to do so, what sweet victory!
So many situations rise up to shame me. But the realization that this was the very thing that my Lord Jesus despised gives me the strength to do the same.
What say you? Don’t you think we ought to despise shame? Shame of every kind? There are so many versions of shame, but we ought to despise every kind of shame.
But we cannot do that without the revelation of the cross in our hearts. Without that revelation, we will fight for our pride and rights.
While this applies to every believer, yet I cannot help thinking about many of today’s preachers in this respect. Those who have no revelation of the cross. Many today are so big they are bigger than God Himself. Today’s apostles, prophets, pastors, evangelists and whoever. The self-proclaimed ones. I cannot help thinking about them. They have a long way to go… down.
I don’t know about you. But me, I want to welcome and rejoice at any and every opportunity that rises for me to be shamed. It’s the only road we have as believers.