Thursday, March 13, 2014

Today the Cross. Tomorrow the Crown - Lenten Journey Day 8

For our present troubles are small and won't last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! 2 Corinthians 4:17

This morning my friend lost his father unexpectedly.  It’s the type of news that brings the rest of the world to a screeching halt. 

Life is so very fragile.

I prayed for him this morning, and I prayed for the Holy Spirit to be present and help him bear this heavy load of grief he was now carrying.  My heart breaks for him and his family.

It’s interesting how these moments give us perspective.  Yesterday, the burden of my cares and day 35 without employment seemed so great.  Today, the weight of his pain was so tangible to me, and it was as if my worries instantaneously shrunk down to size.  I had no room to complain.  I had every reason to be thankful, because there’s always someone with a burden heavier than yours.  My friend reminded me of that today.

Yet Paul goes even further.  He calls EVERY trial, EVERY burden, EVERY affliction that we could ever encounter light.
That’s right….it’s LIGHT: as in manageable and temporary.

It certainly doesn’t feel like that when we’re going through hard times, but it helps when we keep in it perspective and turn our focus to the one who carried the heaviest burden of all.

“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).

No matter what you went through today, this wouldn't be in the description.

No circumstances we face will ever compare to the cross and suffering that Jesus bore for us.

Does it mean that life will be easy?  No.

What it does mean is that victory is waiting for you on the other side.  A victory that will last for all eternity.  That’s great news that I need to remind myself of every day. 

Today the cross….tomorrow the crown.

So, knowing that this glory is awaiting you, can you hang in there with me?  Can you keep pressing through the discomfort and tears?

When life throws darts your way can you keep marching toward your purpose? Can you stop letting fear rob you of your calling?

When you feel like you can’t, remind yourself that HE DID and keep going.

Let’s pray: Father God, we delight in You.  Even in the midst of our inner turmoil and outer trials, we will choose to not be shaken.  Give us a steadfast heart that trust in You and Your plan for our lives.  When storms rage against us, we hold on to a spirit of praise and will remain firmly grounded in Your truth which promises us the ability to overcome any obstacles. And, as we walk through these trials, give us wisdom to grasp a hold of the lessons that you have laid out for us along the way.  We thank You for the power that we have through Jesus Christ. Amen.

Note: Please pray for the Sykes family during this time of loss.

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