“I have said all these things to you to keep you from falling away.”-John 16:1
Have you ever felt like you were hanging on by a thread, thinking “I don’t know if I’m going to make it?” As you have walked the road with Jesus, have you wondered how you could keep going or doubted whether he even cared?
Jesus was clear that life’s road would not be easy. He wasn’t inviting the disciples to live for themselves by pursuing material comforts. Instead he called them to live in the way of the cross, which is the way of service, sacrifice, and self-denial.
When you are hated for following Jesus, remember that he too was hated. When life is so painful that you can barely breathe, know that as Jesus hung on the cross, every breath he took was excruciating. Loving through pain is uncomfortable, but as you live in that reality, let it stir your thirst for the one who will one day restore all things to wholeness.
Jesus, one day when all is revealed in glory, all earthly pain shall cease. You call me into marvelous light, yet for now, I am left stumbling in the darkness. Help me to always see your beacon of hope. Amen.