Tuesday, November 15, 2011

When Suffering Endures

November 15, 2011

"Jesus didn’t trust them, because He knew human nature. No one needed to tell Him what mankind is really like." John 2:24-25

Jesus knew.

The Son of God came to earth fully aware of how mankind would receive Him. Throughout each of the four gospels Jesus clearly depicted intimate details of His death. Jesus knew that many would despise Him, scoff at His Word, and ultimately reject the sacrifice He made on the cross. Yet He came anyway. Jesus endured though the pain and agony of this life often brought Him to His knees. Why? Hebrews 12:2 tells us Jesus endured this life for the joy set before Him.

Eugene Peterson explains it this way in The Message, "Because [Jesus] never lost sight of where He was headed—that exhilarating
finish in and with God—He could put up with anything along the way:
Cross, shame, whatever. And now He's there, in the place of honor, right
alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over
that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility He plowed
through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!"
(Hebrews 12:1-3)

How do we continue living when it seems this life has little to offer?

The same way our Savior did--by focusing on the joy set before us.

Romans 8:18 assures us that what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory He will reveal to us later.

you exclaim. But I want it now!

That's the hard part.

God never promised to relieve our troubles in this world. God does promise, however, to carry us through. More than one woman has expressed this phrase to me, "I just don't see how I can make it staying married to this man the rest of my life." I respond, "God hasn't given you the strength to stay married to him the rest of your life. He's given you the strength to stay married to him today. And when you wake up tomorrow morning, you'll find He's given you strength for that day too" (Lamentations 3:23).

Psalm 55:22 tells us to cast our burdens upon God and He will sustain us. When we feel tempted to take the easy way out, God promises to remain faithful. He promises to show us the way to endure--a way that will enable us to hold true to His Word (1 Corinthians 10:13).

When the pain and suffering of this life seem too much to bear, strip off every weight that slows you down--especially the sin that so
easily trips us up--by surrendering it to the Lord. Run with endurance the race God has set
before you. Do this by keeping your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 2:1-2).

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