Tag Archives: #trials

hold on!

The 26.2 miles of a marathon is hard. It takes much perseverance for runners to finish the race. Often, they have a goal. A reason to complete the race which pushes them forward. Everything starts out grand, but the mileage soon becomes grueling.

The Bible compares life to a marathon. The writer of Hebrews says, “Let us run the race of endurance God has set before us” (Hebrews 12:1). Life is a race of endurance. We know it has its thumps, and life can even shake us clear to the core at times. Like a marathon, life can be agonizing, but we can have hope in the fact Jesus understands the agony.

Jesus understands.

We run life’s marathon by keeping our eyes on Jesus, “…the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people, then you won’t become weary and give up” (Hebrews 12:2-3).

Jesus understands the agony of this life. The daily thumps, the tears, the sorrows, the heartaches, and the pains. Jesus even understands those moments where it seems there is no way out. He has experienced life. Jesus gets life’s good moments, okay moments, and excruciating moments. And, Jesus welcomes us to rely on him through it all.

We are encouraged to approach the Lord with confidence to find grace and help in our time of need. We do not have to go through the agony of this life alone. Jesus is with us and cheering us on. Understanding what you and I are going through today, Jesus is inviting us to cling to him. He gets the harshness of our current circumstances, and he gets the awesomeness of Heaven. So, we are challenged to focus on Jesus and set Heaven as our goal to finish the marathon strong.

Cling to Jesus

Scripture says…

  • “Since we are receiving a kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshipping him with holy fear and awe” (Hebrews 12:28).
  • “God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward, they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him” (James 1:12).

The next time you find yourself going through a crisis, try to remember to rely on Jesus. Cling to him. He understands, and he is there to offer help and encouragement.

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make it stop

His son was in trouble, and the father’s world was rocked almost to its core. Mark tells us an evil spirit had seized the boy and would often cause him to have convulsions. This would often cause the boy to fall into fire or water. The dad had faith, but his faith had been pulled to its very end. He couldn’t see a way out of this circumstance. Filled with desperation, he cried out to Jesus.

As they were explaining the situation to Jesus, the people said, “The spirit often throws him into the fire or into water trying to kill him. Have mercy on us and help us if you can.’ ‘What do you mean if I can,’ Jesus asked. ‘Anything is possible if a person believes,” records Mark 9:22-23.

Then verse 24 states, “The father instantly cried out, ‘I do believe but help me overcome my unbelief!”

No Relief

His son was enduring a horrific problem, and this dad’s world was shaking violently as he was amid a monstrous trial. We know he requested the disciples help, and we can assume he sought help elsewhere. Nothing was working though. No matter where he turned it seemed there was no end to this father’s crisis. Day after day, night after night, seizure after seizure the boy’s condition continued, and it seemed there was no relief from the crisis. Can you relate?

Our world is rocked by a trial. As our world trembles, we search for solid footing, but we can’t find it. The longer we seek a solution, the more discouraged we become. We believe the Lord has a plan, but our eyes are blurred by the current season so we can’t see how to get through it. In these moments, Scripture suggests we follow the example of the father. We seek wisdom from the Lord to help us.

James 1:5-8 encourages, “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waiver for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.”

The Way Out

While we may not see it today, we can have confidence the Lord will lead us out of our crisis. The way out may not be immediate. It may involve several steps, but the Lord will get us there. We know he will because he has helped so many before us.

Remember how he helped the people of Israel. They were headed out of their trial in Egypt. They needed to cross the Red Sea, so God made the wind blow. They needed water, so the Lord made it pour out of a rock. The people needed to eat, so God made manna fall from Heaven. There were several steps in ending the trial, but the Lord showed Israel the way.

Jesus stopped the father’s world from shaking. Jesus released the grip of the evil spirit. In 9:25-27, Mark records, “He said, ‘I command you to come out of this child and never enter him again.’ Then the spirit screamed and threw the boy into another violent convulsion, and left him. The boy appeared to be dead…. But Jesus took him by the hand and helped him to his feet, and he stood up.” The trouble was over. The boy was free and the father’s crisis ended because of Jesus.

If your world is shaking today and you do not see how the Lord is going to get you through this crisis, remember he will. He has helped people get through, and he will help you. Echo the words of the father, “I do believe, but help me Lord because I don’t see it right now.”

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