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“Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how.” ~~Jesus

April 23, 2013 1 comment

We are mistaken to think that suffering is something to be avoided. Jesus challenges us to embrace it. That is what He did. That is how He lived. He can show us how. He is our model for how to do it.

This is stunning as it requires that we change our minds about what is good for us and what isn’t. It challenges us to depend on God completely for everything.

“Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how.” ~~Jesus (The Message John 9:25)

How do we learn trusting-obedience?

How do we learn trusting-obedience? This is not an answer we want to hear. We learn trust and obedience by suffering. That is how our Master Jesus learned it. That is how we learn it. It is the process God uses.

We surely wish it could be another way. This is the only way however. This is the way of God, our Father.

Trust and obedience, in God’s world, are linked. We can’t trust if we don’t obey.

Thank God for the Holy Spirit who helps us.

“Though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned trusting-obedience by what he suffered, just as we do. ” (Hebrews 5:9)

Categories: Devotion Tags: , , ,

Am I willing to suffer and mature? Will I rejoice and be happy?

Jesus, the Son of GOD, came to earth and suffered for us. Imagine that. Take a minute to think about it.

He felt everything we, as humans feel. Anticipating His death for us, he cried in the pain of anticipation. He offered up prayers as He got ready for this awful sacrifice. They were the prayers of a priest.   He is now the most High Priest. Because He is GOD’s Son, God answered His prayers and honored His sacrifice for us. In GOD’s world, we are all now a nation of priests. We intercede, with Jesus, on behalf of all who are in need of Him.

Now get this, he was God’s very own Son. He didn’t have to do any of this for us. He came to earth and learned trusting-obedience by what he suffered. He didn’t have to suffer.

We sometimes wonder, why do we have to suffer? Well, we join in the ministry of Jesus by sharing in suffering,  just as Jesus did. By suffering, Jesus arrived at the full stature of his maturity. Imagine the Son of God having to mature. He did as a man on earth. In that maturity and perfection, Jesus became our priest. In his death and resurrection,  he became the source of eternal salvation to all us who obey him.

While he lived on earth, anticipating death, Jesus cried out in pain and wept in sorrow as he offered up priestly prayers to God. (Hebrews 5:7 The Message)

His strength makes me happy

I can’t say, as Paul did, that I have learned to be completely content and happy. But I am learning and I want to mature in this area. The secret is to live in His strength and power. When I seek His desire, I have confidence that He will strenghten me. That is happening. When I wander off on my own, oh boy, I can never be glad in God and happy.

The other area that helps me be happy is knowing who I am in Him. I am fully redeemed and His child. Knowing that strengthens me. Whoo Hoo!!!

I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am …. I have learned the secret of …. both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:11-13

Free to pursue what God wants

I can learn to think like Jesus. He didn’t expect to get His own way. Now that is radical. Who doesn’t want to get their own way? Seriously. But that misses God’s goal for our lives.  

I can be free. Free to pursue what God wants. Jesus only did what he saw his Father doing. No more, no less.

I can be free from being tyrannized by what I want. I can be obedient to what God wants. He is in charge of His country. I need to obey.


Jesus went through everything you’re going through and more, learn to think like him. Think of your sufferings as a weaning from that old habit of always expecting to get your own way which misses God’s goal. Then you’ll be able to live out your days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what you want. 1 Peter 4

 

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