It is written that I was made to overcome (Romans 8:31-39). But I do not see it. What use is hope, when the battle has gone on too long and there seems to be nothing left? What use is having hope when all evidence points to the contrary?
Paul wrote: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1 KJV).
Isn’t it curious that he uses the word “evidence of things not seen”? People say seeing is believing, right? But what if it’s not so? Remember, God Himself is Spirit (John 4:24; 2 Corinthians 3:17). And you have not seen Him, but you know Him. And you love Him (John 14:17; 1 Peter 1:8-9)
The greatest battle that Christ faced was not with the powerful and wealthy religious leaders of His time (Matthew 23:1-39; Mark 12:35-40; Luke 11:37-54; Luke 20:45-47), the unbelieving crowds (Matthew 17:17; Mark 9:19), His own disciples (Matthew 18:1-4; Matthew 26:69-75; Mark 9:33-37; Luke 22) or the Roman government (Matthew 2; John 19; Luke 23; Mark 15).
It was with His own physical body. He knew the purpose for which He came, to give His life to redeem us from our sins (Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45; John 13:1-17). He declared to His disciples when He found them sleeping when they should pray to be able to resist temptation: “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41b NIV). Christ Himself is without sin (2 Corinthians 5:21; Romans 8:3-4; Hebrews 4:14-16).
Yet Jesus consistently set the example for us to follow. And in that moment, when facing the weight of the cross, He did not turn away. He prayed (Matthew 26:39; Luke 22:42). Personally I don’t think Jesus was asking God to remove the possibility of crucifixion. He always predicted His own death and was quite clear in telling the purpose of His death and how it will glorify God (Matthew 16:21; Matthew 17:22; Mark 8:31; Luke 13:33). Rather, I think it was more related to the fact that He was under so much anguish that He suffered while praying, which can possibly affect his physical body to the point of death before He reaches the cross. He sweated drops of blood (Luke 22:44).
There are times in our lives when we feel like even the things we struggle within our own minds are too difficult to bear. Christ said that in this world, we will have trouble – but also tells us to have courage, because He overcame the world (John 16:33)!
By the way, Jesus never promised that we would have a smooth sailing. So if anyone tells you any different, spouting the nonsense that your life will be full of prosperity and ease, that’s not the truth of Christ.
When we are at the end of the line and there’s no rope to hold on, that is when we need shift our focus off way we feel, off our own minds – and towards the Word of the Lord. No discipline is easy. Think back to the time you first began learning. Be it pottery, martial arts, math, writing. How did you grow? Did it take persistence?
In the same principal, it is written: “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.” – 2 Corinthians 10:5 (ESV).
Let’s give the end of the line to God. Maybe it’s time that we do His way. Are you ready?