Hebrews 2:18 “Because He Himself suffered when He was tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted.” (NIV)
We Christians have deified Jesus in such a way that we find it hard to imagine Him going through many of the struggles through which we go. We think, “Certainly Jesus cannot speak into my life with what I am going through in the 21st Century.” This is
unfortunate, because one of the reasons Jesus lived as a human was to demonstrate God’s power to live in and through humans. Every day consists of a hundred decisions for or against Christ. Nothing in your life is separated from God. We were reconciled to God not just for salvation in the future, but also, as Romans 5:10 says, to be saved in this life, “For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life!” (NIV)
Of the hundreds of interactions that happen daily, some are ingrained in you to automatically choose right or wrong, others will be temptations to sin, while some will involve struggle in dealing with hardships and suffering. You should find encouragement in this verse concerning suffering and
hardships, because Jesus was our perfect model for hardships and suffering. Jesus endured suffering beyond what you will ever endure while modeling God’s love in a way never before seen. Jesus was a perfect conduit for God’s work and power. Most people miss God’s hand during these times because we have become consumed by what is upon us instead of allowing our hardship to be a funnel of the Lord into our lives. Jesus did not respond with hate, threats, or cursing, but by fervently seeking God as Hebrews 5:7 records, “During the days of Jesus' life on earth, He offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverent submission.” (NIV)
Hard times and suffering offer two great opportunities that should not be missed. First is the opportunity to learn to submit yourself to God by trusting Him with the outcome. God is greater
that any outcome you desire. Second is to see how God might want to use this time to temper, teach, or transform your life for an opportunity existing in your life. Notice I did not say God is necessarily doing this to you. Remember life is not about you, but about God working through every part of your life. God wants to be Lord of your
life, so that you can live your life above the mud pits of life instead of in them!
2 Samuel 22:34 “He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; He enables me to stand on the heights.” (NIV)
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Here are some Bible studies from Growing in Christ to help your transformative experience: “God’s Purpose For You” and “Knowing God’s Will.”