Originally published Wednesday, 23 September 2015.
What if Jesus was ready to redefine the way you endure hardships?
Would you listen?
What if - rather than trying to run from that tsunami of terror,
you were to find some peace as you head into it?
For me, it sounds kind of crazy, because normally when I see trials on the horizon I ball up like a hundred and one rubber bands balled up and ready to break at the same time. My tension is high, my anticipation is big and my worries run fast.
Jesus though, didn't run from what threatened him, he threatened what tried to make him run. We may not think of Jesus as an aggravator or a reprimander, but hold tight, because in one way his strategy was just this.
Before we get into that, Jesus teaches us much about resetting our mindset when we are being set up to be torn down.
Here's how his ways can restructure ours:
People hated Jesus for no reason. Jo. 15:25
He said they will hate us too.
God had the power to save him from suffering through prayer. Mt. 26:42
Prayer is the one door that never closes. When we walk through it we always find God.
His "kingdom did not belong on here." Jo. 18:36
When we know our true home, we don't get as concerned when our earthly one gets ransacked.
He had complete authority, always and at every minute. Jo. 19:11
When we know that Jesus is in complete control, suddenly we realize he holds the handle on all that wants to sweep us under.
"I have told you this to make you as completely happy as I am." Jo. 15:11
If Jesus could find some happiness in the road leading to death, we can too.
Jesus knew he was under control of the one completely in control.
To walk Jesus' walk, we have to walk, like him, doubtless and faith-full.
I get Jesus' approach, because every time I let the doubts creep in, the faith creeps out.
The devil said,
"If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
"If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down.
“All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”
The devil challenged Christ's ability, status and loyalty.
Do you ever feel challenged in doubts of what you can do,
what God can do for you and how he will get you through?
Jesus, doesn't stick around playing games with these kinds of words, these change agents of faith, instead he fights back by:
1. Using the word of God as his best weapon.
“It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Mt. 4:4
2. Telling what is bad, what is full of questions about God, to move away.
Away from me, Satan! Mt. 4:10
3. Knowing who is in control of all control that ever controlled and that will control.
For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” Mt. 4:10
When the devil started to show Jesus a way out of the trial, Jesus knew, sometimes the calling is through the fire. He wasn't going to sit around while his strength was depleted.
Even when the man after God's own heart, Peter, spoke doubts as he pulled Jesus aside, Jesus spoke: “Satan, get away from me! You are thinking like everyone else and not like God.” Mk. 8:33
If we think like God, God will help us think in a way where we endure, where we make it, where we aren't burdened, but blessed by our trials.
He will get us through.
He will hold our hand.
He will fight on our behalf.
He will pave a way to eternity.
He will lead us in all truth.
He will hold us on the pillow of his love.
He will not leave our side.
Let's fight back like Jesus.
When we do, we will see, like Jesus that:
God is for endurance and the devil is for discouragement.
Doubts pull us away from our mission, yet faith commissions.
The Word of God is the Word that helps.
God's control, brings our heart under control.
Fight trials like Jesus. Go in his faith. Know that God is with you.
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