For those of us who walk with God the Father every day through His beloved son Jesus, we feel His warm and loving eyes upon us, as we go through all that life can throw at us. Sometimes it seems like these difficulties just won’t go away; they keep coming at us relentlessly and without mercy, the hardships of life.
But thankfully we have someone strong in our corner, someone who knows exactly what we are going through, someone who can help us get through all hardships—our beloved Heavenly Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ.
No longer do we go through personal tragedies, trials and tribulations on our own (like we used to), because now we have a strong and loving hand in our lives from on high; for this is the merciful hand of Jesus at His very best. He listens intently to us in our prayers with a kind and understanding heart.
The hardships that we go through can be very personal, and the suffering we have is very real, indeed. These challenges can often stretch us and our limits of endurance, testing our resolve to the very extreme, and push us almost to a breaking point.
They can vary from smaller personal events that affect just us and our families; deaths, illnesses, financial woes, car accidents, marriage break-ups, job losses (just to name a few), through to much larger events (weather or environmental); floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, snow storms, tsunamis, droughts that can seriously affect large numbers of people across many states or countries, leaving complete devastation and misery in its wake.
This can also include spiritual persecution as well — from the powers of darkness (through this world) when we do the Lord’s work in our lives. These dark forces will zero in and target us because we have the Lord Jesus as our “personal treasure” in our hearts; this is a form of great suffering as well, where we can be sorely tested.
This is the price that we pay for putting the Lord Jesus in the number one spot in our hearts. How strong is your faith in Him? Are you willing to stand against persecution and all that can be thrown at you? Can you reaffirm your commitment to your beloved Lord Jesus, and be strong and resolute in His mighty Name?
I know it can be very daunting, and none of you are looking forward to it, but remember, Jesus has already endured all of this on our behalf when He was here centuries ago. He can still remember the horrible suffering that He had to endure, so that we could all stand before Almighty God Himself, with our sins completely washed away by His loving sacrifice and resurrection from the dead.
Remember, when we meet Him in the future, we will see for ourselves the holes in His wrists from the nails that were hammered into them when He was being brutally and ruthlessly crucified on the cross for our sakes. He was the suffering Messiah that would take away our sins, and reconcile us to the Heavenly Father.
This spiritual persecution can come against you through strangers, and they will look upon you with much contempt and hatred in their hearts, for all that you represent in Christ our Lord.
This spiritual persecution can also come against you through your closest family members as well. Believe it or not, they will use their close ties that they have with you so they can get you to abandon your faith in Him, by making you feel guilty. It is up to you to be strong in His mighty Name and reject all of this.
These periods of personal hardship that we go through in life can be so very difficult to bear at times; we might feel disheartened, and feel alone. But we must take a deep breath and call upon the Lord Jesus to refresh our hearts, so He can give us the strength and courage to go on through extreme difficulties and continue the good fight in His mighty Name.
Look up to heaven, and know in your heart that the strength of the Lord is inside you, and absolutely nothing will defeat you and your strong faith in Him. To go through adversity is character building, and it gives us a taste of what Jesus actually went through on our behalf centuries ago (so He could bring us back into the awesome and breathtaking presence of Almighty God Himself), because of His loving personal sacrifice and resurrection from the dead.
Jesus said in Mark 8:34 “And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, ‘Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.’”
These words spoken by Him are clear, precise and unmistakable. We have been called to take up our crosses (our suffering) and follow Him with all our hearts. We must be strong and resolute to endure harsh difficulties—for His sake.
While we are going through these difficulties we learn to rely upon Him, and then minister to others who are going through the same in their lives, so we can all grow in the compassion and understanding of our mighty Saviour.
This is the story of Jesus which plays out every day across the world, through the hearts and lives of the sons and daughters of our beloved Heavenly Father.
For just as Jesus willingly and humbly accepted suffering on our behalf for His Heavenly Father’s sake, we too, must be willing to go through some suffering as well for Jesus’ sake. But don’t worry; be comforted in the knowledge that He will never let you go through anything that is beyond what you can endure.
We bear our hardships with the love and support of Jesus, so we can better understand the pain and distress of others in this life; those who have gone through similar situations as ourselves, ministering to them in His mighty Name.
This is exactly the reason why He understands us so well and the problems we face in life, because He Himself went through this suffering completely on His own; so He could bring us back into the presence of Almighty God.
He is the personification of all that we hold so dearly: Forgiveness, compassion, love, mercy, understanding, patience, sacrifice, loyalty, redemption and wisdom.
You must have heard the saying, “A little bit of suffering is good for the soul.” Well, the truth is, none of us actually enjoy going through these difficulties in life, but we are better equipped to understand the suffering of others because we have been there ourselves and know what it is like to go through them.
Remember, Jesus wants you to succeed and succeed very strongly; to blossom into the wonderful sons and daughters of God that He knows you are. For this is a time to rejoice and be glad for your reward will be great in heaven.
Remember, Jesus did all the heavy lifting (the road to salvation). He personally died for our sins, so we would never have to fully go through what He endured on His own, so we could finally be reconciled with our beloved Heavenly Father.
All of this would have been impossible for any of us to accomplish on our own. As we go through hardships, we find strength and comfort in His mighty Name. His Name is so powerful, that the demons tremble upon hearing it. Those of us who are privileged to have Him in our hearts, rejoice happily upon hearing it. Wholeheartedly, we say to our Lord Jesus, “You are my Rock and my Salvation!”
He sustains us in our time of need, we rely upon Him more and more every day. He makes it so much easier to bear all the heartaches. During the highs and lows of our lives, we share our personal experiences with Him in prayer as He watches over us; our joyous times, our deepest fears, our praise of Him, our questions, our physical or emotional pain, our financial woes, our concerns for family and friends…all done in the complete privacy of our own hearts.
This is the peace that Jesus was talking about; that we can all have right now if we learn to put Him at the very top of our lives, and make Him number one in our hearts at the expense of everything else in our lives. This is the only way to the peace that He was talking about; peace that we know we so desperately need.
Have you ever gone down into your basement and switched on the light, only to see the cockroaches scurrying away from the light, and hide in the darkness. They clearly don’t like the light at all, and are completely at home in the dark.
If we are truly with the Lord Jesus as we say we are, then we should always be happy to seek out the light and dwell in it, as opposed to the cockroaches or Satan—who live in darkness, well away from the bright lights of heaven.
Because we have been personally washed by the incredible blood bought sacrifice and resurrection of our beloved Lord Jesus, we are now the children of light — so we should act accordingly and make a genuine effort to avoid the darkness of this world wherever it is around us at all cost.
Humbly seek out the Lord Jesus, and ask Him to protect you and your loved ones from the darkness. He will do it and do it very well.
He is able to do this, because He personally went through the most powerful temptation that anyone on this earth could possibly have gone through. He did it completely on His own, and beat the evil one at his own game. It was a massive victory for Jesus, and for all those who would eventually trust in Him.
Jesus is ready at a moment’s notice, to happily give you all the protection, love and guidance that you so desperately need in your life. Remember, if you do your part and sincerely seek Him with all your heart, He will seriously take up the fight against Satan on your behalf, and make His original victory your victory.
Jesus said in Matthew 6:21 and Luke 12:34, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
This is precisely what all this is about; for us to learn to put the Lord Jesus at the very pinnacle of our lives. To make Him the single most important thing in our lives above all else, to make Him “our treasure” and to embrace Him fully.
There are some who have already rejected this important condition of personal salvation. As far as they are concerned, they will continue to keep whatever is important to them in the number one spot in their hearts—it is their “treasure.”
For them the price is too high, to relinquish what they consider to be important to them and replace it with something else — because in their eyes they already have what they want (their reward) and they are not giving it up anytime soon.
It is important for us to remember that none of us can do this on our own. We must first be called in our hearts and have our eyes opened before we can put our beloved Lord Jesus first and foremost in our hearts above everything else.
Jesus also said in Matthew 11:15, “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.”
If you think you are having a “light switched on over your head” moment right now (an epiphany), then it is very likely that you are in fact being called by Him. If all of this is true and you really do feel this way, then rejoice and be glad in your heart, for not everyone can honestly say that this has happened to them.
Take a deep breath and focus on what you are hearing in your heart right now. Listen, embrace and be glad for this wonderful message that is coming to you. Allow yourself to be fully drawn to this extraordinary individual, called Jesus.
You should be feeling both privileged and humbled that He has had mercy on you, and has decided to call to you in your heart at this time in your life. I say this because the masses have no idea of what is really going on out there between those who dwell in the bright lights of heaven and the forces of evil.
Of those that dwell in darkness (the world), they have the blinders pulled down over their eyes so they will never see “the light of day” unless our Heavenly Father’s benevolence actually comes to them and opens their eyes — through the hearing and embracing of this wonderful message of Jesus in their hearts.
We were all once like this until the blinders were lifted in our hearts; then we could see the incredible mercy of our beloved Father in heaven that has come our way. We now have the Lord Jesus in the number one position in our hearts.
Because we have done this, our hearts are now full of light and the others of this world will see for themselves the glory of God that is in us.
Some will say that anyone who does this is weak and flawed, and that only the strong shall survive, but there is no shame in seeking out help from the Lord Jesus.
Remember, everyone who has ever been born on this earth has needed some form of help in their lives, whether it was at the very start (as infants) or even when they were much older (as senior citizens) or anywhere in between. The point is that everyone has needed help at some point in their lives, so why don’t we embrace this freely offered gift of eternal life with all our hearts?
If you have not yet accepted this generous gift of eternal life (and all that goes with it) which is being freely offered to you, then I would strongly advise you to grab a hold of it right now strongly with both hands, and hold on very tightly. It is a gift extremely worthy of being taken and used to return to and be reconciled Almighty God.
In this world, Satan has a huge stockpile of extremely tempting consuming distractions and passions that he can call upon at a moment’s notice. He can ensnare and enslave as many as he can get his hands on — hook, line and sinker, and keep the lost out of reach of the salvation that Jesus offers for as long as possible.
These distractions and passions are specifically and expressly designed by Satan to get you to take your eyes off the One who really matters—our magnificent Saviour at Calvary—Jesus. These things can include material possessions, consuming practices and pastimes, as well as certain activities that you might do regularly (recreational or otherwise), where they end up taking all your time to the exclusion of all else in your life.
This can also include being addicted to self-indulgent entertainment where you are spending an excessive amount of time being plugged into different forms of media; watching television, listening to the radio, playing with your Ipads, using your smartphones, social media, playing video games, going to the movies, listening to your music on MP3 players, and spending many hours searching the Web.
Temptations can be exciting, thought-provoking, eye-catching, mysterious, obsessive, enticing, stimulating, challenging, enjoyable, attention-grabbing and lustful. You might be totally unaware of how much time, money and effort you are actually putting into a particular pursuit of yours that has taken over your life, where little else matters.
These temptations can potentially catch us in weak moments in our lives where we might be feeling vulnerable and unsure of what path we should be taking. It could even have started out as innocently as a local recreational activity or hobby of some sort, but it has now consumed your life, and you are pursuing it as hard as you possibly can, and you have lost yourself in this obsession.
If you want to be released from the tight grip of sin that holds you mercilessly, then reach out and take this very generous gift of salvation being offered to you this very day.
Those who have, do not regret it. We look forward to the life that awaits us in eternity, but right now we should be totally committed to helping each other get through personal hardships through the Lord Jesus. Put Jesus in the “number one” spot in your hearts, and live with us in eternity.