But as I was reading in my quiet time today, I came across a verse, “Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?”
And I was stopped cold in my tracks. Because I think if we are honest in life it is easy to complain and grumble. We dont’ like this, we don’t like that. And we are quick to let others know.
Yet, here we find Jesus. The guards have arrived to arrest Him, leading Him to the crucifixion. Yet, He isn’t surprised at the persecution and He doesn’t resist. For He knows that this is why He has come. He knows that He is on this earth only to fulfill the Father’s Will.
And I know it is easy for us all to say, well that is Jesus. Yet, the reality is, Jesus was fully human as well. In His flesh He didn’t want to go to the cross. In His flesh He didn’t want to accept ridicule and humiliation. In His flesh He felt the same emotions that we do. Yet, He had resolved to do the Father’s will. He had resolved to accept the cup the Father had given to Him.
In our own lives when difficulties arise, trials come, and we just have bad days. We are prone to frustration. Prone to grumbling. Yet, shouldn’t we like Jesus accept the cup the Father has given us. And not only accept is, but give thanks and rejoice in the midst of it. For the reality is, we always have it better than someone else. So we can always give thanks. And Paul would instruct us to rejoice when we face trials because the testing of our faith grows and matures us in our walk with the Lord.
Yet, can I be honest. This is HARD, really HARD. Our family lives in Nepal, where an ongoing fuel crisis has been taking place for close to 2 months. There is limited petrol, diesel, cooking gas and everyday products. We are doing a lot of walking and crowding onto packed buses. We are having to watch what we cook so we can preserve cooking gas, and doing without some items that are no longer available.
Even on the best of days, it is easy to complain about this. Easy to grumble about how tired my legs are from walking.
But then, I read a verse such as this, and have nothing more to say.
Jesus never said, come follow me and life will be easy. He never said, if you follow me you will be free of problems. No He said, do not be surprised when you face trials. He said, if the world persecutes me, it will persecute you.
We shouldn’t be surprised at the trials God allows in our lives. Instead we are to expect them and grow in our walk with the Lord through them.
But, let me say it again, this is HARD. This doesn’t come naturally. And more often than not it is my flesh that wins the battle, as instead of being thankful, instead of rejoicing, I’m grumbling.
Yet, this is not the response I want to give, or the response that pleases the Lord.
On our white board in our dining room there is a verse written, “If a man remains in me and I in Him, He will bear much fruit, apart from Me, you can do nothing.” (Jn 15:5)
I’m learning that even to be thankful, even to rejoice. In order not to complain or grumble. I must be in Christ, I must be filled with and controlled by His Spirit. Because, left to myself I will fail. Left to myself I will grumble, I will whine, I will complain. Because truly apart from Him, I can do nothing.
So, the Lord has challenged me and I’m challenging you… let us remain in Him. Let us be filled daily, moment by moment with His Spirit. And let us strive to be thankful. Strive to rejoice instead of complain.
It isn’t easy, but I believe God will bless it and will give us His abounding joy as we strive to walk humbly with our God!!!