“But Jesus answered and said: “Ye know not what ye ask. Are you able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” They say unto him, we are able” (Matthew 20:22).
Two of Jesus’ disciples, James and John, came to Christ with their mother and asked Him to give them the best seats in the kingdom, one on the left and the other on the right hand of the Savior. Jesus as the astute and generous teacher did not say “no, you cannot have them,” but told them there is a heavy price you must pay to have them. If you can do the things I do, drink of My cup of sorrows, and be baptized unto death with My baptism. This is the first notation in the Gospel of the old adage “be careful what you ask for, you just may get it.”
“For the things which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me, “I was not in safety, neither had I rest, neither was I quiet, yet trouble came” (Job 3:25-26). The brothers filled with the confidence of faith or the arrogance of men, said that they were able. Are you able? Two thousand years before, Job learned the best things are always hedged about by the hardest things, and we, too, shall find mountains of difficulty and forests of woe. Usually, life’s difficulties come at the most inopportune time or place, and we realize there is no escape, not even for the righteous.
Job, a righteous man, and Jesus the most righteousness man suffered a level of pain unmatched in human history, all for the glory of God. Job’s trust in God allowed him to overcome the silly and cynical arguments put forth by his wife and friends. Jesus knew his purpose for coming to earth, as well as, the things that would befall him while here. Both knew that their God, our God is more than a god of answers and promises He instructs, assures and delivers the outcome He promises. It is this simple yet power-filled understanding that allowed Job and Jesus to endure their afflictions to the glory of the Father.
“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (II-Corinthians 4:17). The story of Job ranks in Old Testament Scripture with the stories of Moses and David; and Jesus; “God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name… to the glory of God the Father” ( Philippians 2:9-11). Hardship is the price of coronation. Triumphal arches are not woven out of rose blossoms and silken cords, but of hard blows and bloody scars. The very hardships that you are enduring in your life today are given by the Master for the explicit purpose of enabling you to win your crown.
Please my friends do not wait for that ideal situation, romantic difficulty or some far-off family emergency to come about before you turn to Jesus for a source of power that will come only by faith in him. Raise your faith to meet the real circumstance and conditions which the blessed Providence of God has placed around you today. Your crown of glory lies in the very heart of these little things—those hardships and trials that are pressing on your heart and soul this very moment, hour, day, week and month of your life.
The hardest things for many Christians to contend with are not the things your family, friend or neighbor is aware of. The hardest things are those things deep down in the cracks of an aching heart, unseen and unknown by anyone but the Spirit of God. Everyone experience a little trial that we dare not mention to the closest friend that is more difficult to bear than martyrdom. “While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen, for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal” (II-Corinthians 4:18).
“For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power” (I-Corinthians 4:20). Faith is more than a word, it is power. Faith gives strength to the weak, courage to the fearful and answers to our petitions of God. The faithful servants of God can have this power and our faithfulness to Him and His Son Jesus Christ will allow you to apply this power to overcome the troubles of life. It is impossible to be faithful and-or experience faithfulness without faith.
“Test yourself to see if you are in faith.” There, beloved, lies your crown. God will help you to overcome, and someday wear your crown of glory; “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” Amen.
Grady Norman Greene, Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Our Christ
- Self Must Die – Part4 (thethirdcross.wordpress.com)
- be Encouraged … “The Heavenly Crowns” awaits (jkasht.wordpress.com)