Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10
Think about the following scenario: You are on vacation, and an imminent hurricane is scheduled to hit the island in 5 hours. The escape route to safety would involve climbing up the narrow trail of a mountain. Because energy conservation is a priority, you have received a small backpack for essential items. What items would you place in your backpack? What clothing and shoes would you wear?
Your heart is beating fast as you look at the picture of the mountain and listen to the instructions from the experienced guides that have hiked these mountainous trails since they were young children. There is a team of four guides, two placed in lead positions, and two following at the end. The journey will take 60 minutes. Each person has been given a sequential number from 1-30.
The following instructions/rules guarantee a safe arrival to the Overcomer’s Refuge Center:
- 30 individuals will function as one unit. Each person is expected to adhere to the given directives.
- Always keep your eyes focused ahead of you; do not turn your head to the right or the left.
- If you need help at any time, loudly shout out your number and wait for the guide to come to you. All climbing ceases until the individual receives assistance, and the “All-Clear” status is given to resume the climb.
- There are two rest stations, Courage Station, located 20 minutes and Strength Station, 40 minutes from the trail’s starting point.
- Finally, trust in the guides! And be sure to thank them for their help when you arrive at the rest stations and your final destination.
- We are ready to begin the journey. Please count off starting with the #1.
Spiritually, this is the life of a Believer of the Most High God. Our journey consists of life-long traveling on the narrow Path of Righteousness. We are expected to follow all of the road map instructions in the Bible, given to us by God, our Guide. Daily communication through prayer keeps us from deviating to the right or left or making detours that lead to sin.
God is aware that our climb is long and strenuous. And because we serve a God who is fair, He required his Son, Jesus Christ, to take on humanity, and suffer even unto death on the cross. Although Jesus used his Divine powers to heal the sick, and perform miracles, He experienced loneliness, grief, rejection, and all of the sorrows and trials of being human.
Jesus’ cruel punishment was for you and for me!
Jesus felt pain when the spikes were driven in His hands and feet, and when the sword pierced His side. The Crown of Thorns caused excruciating pain causing him to bleed profusely. (Have you ever injured your forehead?) There were no other options, Jesus’ sacrifice was required to offer Redemption for humanity, or we who were created in the image of God would suffer the second and final death.
About three o’clock, Jesus cried out loudly, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” This means, “My God, my God, why have you left me alone?” 50 Again Jesus cried out loudly and then died. Matthew 27:46, 50. While He was on the cross, Jesus expressed the agony of experiencing, for the first time, a complete mental, and emotional separation from God his Father, who had to withdraw His presence for the Plan of Redemption to be fulfilled. The sinful actions from human hands did not kill Jesus. He willingly gave up and died to fulfill His promise to God for us to escape the final death and to live eternally if we so choose.
Our trials and sorrows are often viewed as more than we can bear. Even so, Jesus knows what each of us requires to experience complete transformation in our lives. It is time to pray for help when we become overwhelmed, and the enemy of hopelessness enters our minds. Jesus Christ is our guide! All we need to do is faithfully believe trust and obey His instructions.
The benefits from suffering: 3 Not only that, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.…Romans 5:3-5
Give your burdens to Jesus! We have a loving Savior who will guide us through the rough, uphill climb.
Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” 30 “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”… Matthew 11:28-30
God has given us inner strength and courage that can only be developed by suffering hardships. Are we alone? Never! Follow Jesus’ instructions:
Do not look to the right or the left. Please keep your eyes focused on me!
With all of your heart, soul, and mind, believe in this promise:
12 “Look, I am coming soon, bringing my reward with me to repay all people according to their deeds. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” 14 Blessed are those who wash their robes. They will be permitted to enter through the gates of the city and eat the fruit from the tree of life. Revelation 22:12-14
When we all get to heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be. When we all see Jesus, we will sing and shout the victory!
Bible Reading: Revelation 21-22
God, we ask for your guidance, and your help as we endure the suffering that will perfect our characters. We thank you for giving your Son, Jesus to die for us. We look forward to the day when your Son will come again as the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. Thank you for hearing and answering our prayer that we ask in the Worthy Name of Jesus. Amen.
© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2020, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the written permission of the author.