Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Cross (as in the Cross of Christ) (08/17/06)
TITLE: Joy in the Cross
By Andrew Curtis
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Jesus kept His eyes focused on God while going through the immense pain of being crucified. He didn’t whine or complain, even while being beaten and spit on. He knew God had His reasons. The pain He encountered was unbearable, yet He knew it was His destiny to die for us so that we may have everlasting life. He was shamed and stripped of His dignity, yet He did not let this deter Him from His fate. He did not beg for mercy, nor did He try and run. He fulfilled His duty; given to Him by The Lord.
It is sometimes difficult to keep our eyes focused on God during our trials. If we’re hurt or shamed, we may retaliate or become angry and try and run. We may even turn our backs on God if the pain is too great. Jesus tells us to pick up our cross and follow Him. The world makes it difficult to carry sometimes. How do we keep our eyes focused on Him while struggling to keep our cross on our shoulders?
We have to be like Jesus and keep our thoughts to what it is going to be like sitting at the right hand of The Lord. Think of how majestic life will become after we have overcome our tribulations. If we keep our minds focused on the pains we will fail to see what God has in store for us. There is no simple answer on how to do this, but it does take practice. The enemy will throw everything and anything our way to keep our minds centered on the destruction and chaos. We have to see through that and look towards the end result.
No matter what the situation is, we need to turn our problems over to God. If we’re struggling with addiction, God has placed that in our lives so that we may rest solely on Him to carry us through. If we are being shamed by the world for our meager possessions, we rest in Him and know that our possessions are only temporary and we will possess a perfect life when we go to be with our Creator.
Jesus is our guide to a faith that works perfectly. He knew He was sent here to show the world the way to a heavenly life and an eternal end to suffering. Even though He may not have wanted to endure the pain of the Cross, He was willing and ready to die for each and every one of us. That was His duty while here on earth and now; He reigns with the almighty God. None of us are here to die on a cross for humanity, but we are here to die physically, but grow spiritually.
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