ADVERSITY: This too… is a gift from God. Often, if not…always… life’s greatest gifts are the endurance of pain and suffering. It will come in all forms and manner. Rather it be… physical issues; health; mental; career; marital; financial; family…or spiritual; we all encounter ADVERSITY.
Ecclesiastes 7:14 – In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider: God has made the one as well as the other, so that man may not find out anything that will be after him. No human being will escape adversity. It’s part of our DNA. But, everyone can overcome adversity, which that too, is a gift from God. We can Trust, we can have Faith, we can have Hope, and we can have Love.
It also… says in John 14:27 – Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. Romans 5:3-5 – More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Luke 14:27 – Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.
Follow me for a moment. If you’re like me… I pray each day… to be more like Jesus Christ. I’m not by myself…this is probably a very common prayer among God’s faithful. What does being “Christ-like” entail? What did Jesus do? Jesus prayed to His Father. He taught scripture. He fed the masses. He ate with and visited the poor, the adulterers and the sinful. And… He set a perfect example for us to emulate.
But… none of that is as important…as is… dying on the cross. Consider all the suffering that lead up to His death. The betrayals …the denying, the whippings, the scourging at the pillar, the terrible bloodletting, the spear in His side, the nails in His Hands and Feet… And… the actual crucifixion. If I REALLY WANT to be “more Christ-like”….then I’m also asking for, and praying for… “all the same” type of suffering and ADVERSITY that Jesus endured. You’ve heard the expression… be careful what you ask for. Are we really… willing to live…and die… like Jesus? That’s the question.
There is a price to follow Jesus….and a bigger price… if we choose not to.
….. Blessings…cjlb… 9/20/16