Bible Reading for: November 13
The struggles and troubles of life are meaningless when Christ is the center of our lives. We can find hope in no other source, but we can find hope in Christ.
Today was an interesting day, and it has me in a rather pensive mood. Earlier today I learned that a friend of mine, a man who reads this blog regularly and has been a great encouragement to me, is unemployed. I don’t know if this is a recent thing or has been a struggle for him for a while. I was unemployed myself several years ago for 9 months, and I remember how worried I was and how frightening it got a few months into it. I also learned that another friend lost his father today. My dad is still with me, so I can only imagine what he must be going through right now.
I ended the day, however, at a wedding for two young members of my church. They are not long out of college and they make a beautiful couple. I was truly happy to see them begin their life together as man and wife. My prayer is that their marriage will be what God intended all marriages to be from the beginning.
I look at the struggles we all face in this life, and just when you think you might have to carry more than you can bear, God shows you hope. It is hard for me to explain why I found hope in the wedding of these two young people. The wedding was proudly Christ centered, and I suppose that is where I found that reassuring hope. Can one find hope in a job? Can one find hope in a marriage? Can one find hope in life itself? I believe the answer to all of these questions is no. The only place one can find hope is in Christ.
With Christ, we find hope in every situation. With Christ, we can find hope when we have a job and when we don’t. With Christ we can find hope in marriage, and we can find hope when single. With Christ, we can find hope in life, in illness, and in death. You see, the struggles and troubles of life are meaningless when Christ is the center of our lives. Oh, that isn’t to say that we shouldn’t feel our pain or bring it before God; He’s our heavenly Father, and He wants us to come to him in sorrow and in joy.
As Christians, when we face trouble, we know that it is only for a little while, and that God will never give us a heavier burden than we can bear. Of course, he knows our capacity better than we know ourselves, so it may seem that He has given us too much, but He never does. When He is at the center of our lives, He gives us peace even when we are in the center of a storm. We can trust Him because we have several thousand years of testimony that He keeps His promises. The record of that testimony is the Bible.
In today’s passages we read of Jesus being crucified. He didn’t have to come to earth to be crucified. He chose to do that. Can you imagine suffering as He did? Jesus came to fulfill many of God’s promises. He came to give us hope. As He went to the cross, He knew that He would be raised from the dead three days later. He knew that His Father kept His promises, and that after the pain, there would be joy.
We also read today that Judas hung himself. He didn’t have hope. He didn’t have Jesus. Pain is part of life. Hope and joy are part of life in Christ. As Christians, we get both. We live in a fallen world, so we experience pain, but we have God’s Holy Spirit residing within us, so we have hope as well.
I don’t know what struggle you may be facing today. Because you live in a fallen world, I know you have struggles. It is my hope you also have Jesus Christ, for then you have hope as well. Turn to God in your pain and struggles brothers. Share your hurt and your fear with your Heavenly Father. Remember He walks with you through the fire, and that on the other side is joy everlasting.
Vivere Victorem! (Live Victorious!)
Your brother and servant in Christ,
Dying to self, living to serve!