…Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin [temptation or trials].
“This too shall pass.” How many times have you heard people speak those words when they are going through hard times. Or maybe someone has spoken them to you in that situation. Actually the words hold only small comfort if we aren’t looking to a better future after we have made it through. I know you’ve heard the old saying, “They’re just jumping from the frying pan into the fire!” In other words, folks are just passing through one bad circumstance only to encounter something worse! I’ve known people whose lives seem to reflect this philosophy. They never seem to get a break!
When I lived in Florida, some years ago, I was recuperating from a physical and emotional breakdown. I was diagnosed as having Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Sounds dismal doesn’t it. Well, it was! My future didn’t appear to be very promising in the natural. But I refused to look at the natural. I spent my days focused on the Word of God and His promises to me. I kept my eyes looking toward Jesus and I knew that He wanted to bring me through. I considered the fact that He endured many things such as I was going through and much, much more when He was here on this earth. And the Bible tells us that when He was on the cross, He took all of our sins and sicknesses upon His body. This is not figurative, it is literal! That means He felt every pain that we would ever feel…physically, emotionally and spiritually. He even ended up losing His life…and I had no where nearly gone that far! He also promised me this…”No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13 The Message Bible)
After I was well on my way to recovery, my pastor, a lady who was also my good friend gave me a framed photo that she said reminded her of the trial I was passing through. It was a photo of a pier extending out into the water in Cedar Key, Florida where we had visited several times. The boards of the pier, especially toward the end, were broken and in disrepair. You couldn’t actually see the end of the pier, for over it and the water beyond, was a dense fog. If you were walking on it, each progressive step would be a step of faith into the unknown. There was no way to see through it to the end. You just had to trust that your steps were ordered by the Lord…and “look to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith.”
Pastor Retha gave me the picture to encourage me at that particular time in my life. And every time I looked at it, I pictured Jesus there with me, holding my hand, guiding me through the fog of an uncertain future. But I must tell you I’ve never completely gotten through the fog. The life of faith is an on-going experience. There may be a time when the fog lifts temporarily, but it will always come back, as long as we’re living on this earth. And when it does, we have to reach once again for the Master’s hand and take one step at a time, totally trusting in His guidance to see us through. We should never worry or fret, but rest in the fact that He has gone on before us and He knows the perfect way for us!