How do we get through this life from day to day, moment by moment, circumstance to circumstance?
I am currently reading a book to my older sons called, “The Hiding Place.” It is an autobiography, by Corrie Ten Boom. In the town of Haarlem, located in the Netherlands, during the Nazi occupation, Corrie Ten Boom and her family were Christians that peacefully resisted the Nazi regime by hiding, feeding, relocating and protecting Jews and other underground workers.
This of course was a very dangerous task that they had taken upon themselves. There were even times they thought, we must stop, surely we will be discovered, but then would say, how could we, when there is so much to be done, so many people that need help?
They had moments of great joy and victory, circumstances when they needed wisdom to make a decision set before them, times they feared what was to come and days of deep grief.
Although, most of us have not experienced things of the magnitude they went through, our lives also are mirrored with these same triumphs, difficulties and emotions. I mention this not to belittle the hardship of our circumstances but to inspire us! How did they get through those horrible, unimaginable things? How could these things happen to those doing the right thing?! How did they endure these sufferings?
They relied on God as their, “rock cleft,” the person and work of Jesus on the cross as their, “hiding place,” and the power of the Holy Spirit.
With Easter approaching and Jesus’ own suffering and resurrection at the forefront, I have a couple of themes on my mind.
Jesus’ suffering, and our suffering. Jesus’ glory.
Paul says in Philippians 3:10, “I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.”
To the Romans a similar exhortation; “Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”
This theme continues in other epistles speaking about suffering for the gospel, suffering for other brothers and sisters and Peter encourages us not only to suffer, but to REJOICE in suffering!
When we are tempted to throw in the towel in light of our sufferings we have to say, “how could we stop when there is so much to be done, so many people who need Jesus.”
Suffering is part of the journey as a follower of Christ but we aren’t alone or without help.
How can we overcome through suffering? How can we endure difficulty? How do we give glory to the rightful owner in our joy and victories? The answer is, the same way Paul did, the same way Peter did, the way the Ten Boom family did, God as our rock cleft, the person Jesus as our hiding place, the power of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God planted in us.
We can overcome because He overcame!
“Let us fix our eyes on the author and perfecter of our faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Thank you Father for the cross and the empty grave.