As we enter the season of the Cross, I thank Our Lord and Savior not only for the finished work He completed through His ultimate sacrifice…the work of our salvation – but also for the Cross as a daily reminder of true strength and grace under pressure. We can learn a lot about dealing with the pressure, burdens, and crosses in our own lives by examining what Scripture reveals of Christ’s words and behavior on the Cross:
Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. (Luke 23:34)
Talk about grace! Here Christ shows us a great response to pressure: avoiding the “blame game.” Rather than looking for who or what we can blame for our present trouble, we should immediately ask God to come into the situation – and ask for His strength and grace to handle the pressure at hand.
He said to his mother: “Dear woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple: “Here is your mother.” (John 19:26-27 NIV)
Even while He was going through it, Jesus was able to offer words of comfort, care and support to those around Him. While our cross might be painful to us, others around us may very well be suffering as well. Ask God to give strength to not only you, but your friends and loved ones as well. Praying for others during your own trials can help take the focus off your own pain, and open you up to God’s healing Spirit.
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? (Matthew 27:46)
It’s fine to let God know what you’re going through, during your times of trouble. God is not afraid of your emotions, your doubts, or your questions. When Jesus asked His Father this question, He already knew the answer: God had not forsaken Him, and His ultimate victory was only a few days away. Even as you ask “Why me, God?” — know that God has your back…and that you have ultimate victory and salvation through Christ!
I am thirsty… (John 19:28 NIV)
When He let those around Him know of his thirst, although death was imminent, Jesus was still acknowledging the needs of His temple/body. Accordingly, we must also take care of ourselves as best we can — physically, emotionally, and spiritually — during times of trial. Exercise, eat right, and rest your body to retain your strength!
Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit”… (Luke 23:46 NIV)
Ultimately, we must accept God’s will for our lives. We must put our lives into God’s hands, as Jesus did, with total faith and trust, believing that His will for our lives will prevail, no matter how difficult our present trial is.
As we enter the season of the Cross, it’s important to let God know through prayer and thanksgiving that we are glad He is there for us at every moment of our lives. And look to the Cross to find strength and grace during your own times of trial and pressure…because His grace truly is amazing!
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