In the previous post we saw that while the empty tomb is a powerful reminder of the hope we have in Christ’s victory, the cross shows us how to bear difficulties until victory comes.

Specifically, we saw from Christ’s suffering, five truths to remember in times of difficulty.

  1. Remember God is in control.
  2. Remember others are learning from you.
  3. Remember to examine your heart.
  4. Remember to pray.
  5. Remember to surrender to God’s plan.

We’ll finish this post with five more instructions gleaned from the example of Jesus:

6. Don’t let the action or inaction of others cause you to quit.

From the inaction of the disciples (sleeping when they should have been supporting Him in prayer) to the wrong action of Judas (outright selling Christ for personal gain), Jesus was abandoned and betrayed.

And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. And while he yet spake, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss him.—Luke 22:46–47

Sometimes during trials, we become frustrated by either or both of these responses of others. We dwell on the inactivity of some: “No one cares about me.” “No one tried to help me.” And we dwell on the wrong actions (or perceived wrong actions) of others: “Everyone is talking about me.”

Yet, in spite of both inaction and wrong action from His disciples, Jesus went on. He hurt, yes. But He continued toward Calvary.

Don’t let the responses of others derail you from receiving God’s grace during your time of trial.

7. Remember to accept God’s timing.

From the garden, Christ could have said, “Let’s get this over with. Skip Gethsemane, the trials, the scourging, the hours of torture. Let’s just get to the moment of death on the cross.”

But every part of Christ’s suffering was prophesied in the Old Testament. From His scourging (Isaiah 50:6) to the mockings He would see and hear (Psalm 22:6–8) to the crucifixion itself (Psalm 22:13–18), even minute details were recorded in Scripture. I’m thankful He accepted God’s timing in the duration of His suffering.

Hebrews 12 tells us He was able to do this by looking to the future joy that would come of it:

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 is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.—Hebrews 12:2

When we’re experiencing trials, we sometimes forget that God has a purpose not only in the situation itself, but also in the timing of it. Like Christ, we must remember to accept both the time of suffering and the duration of suffering.

Are you a “fix it” person? I am. In fact, I think we all are to some extent. We want to make God’s ways work—now. We want to seek His wisdom and get answers—immediately. But sometimes we must simply trust God. Job 23:10 promises, “But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.”

8. Remember to forgive.

After a mock trial and a punishing beating, Jesus was hung on the cross. And yet, His first words after the cross was set in the ground were words of forgiveness:

Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.—Luke 23:34

Trials invariably bring with them the need to forgive others…which is only possible in light of God’s forgiveness for us.

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.—Ephesians 4:32

9. Continue your witness.

Incredibly, even in Christ’s extreme pain on the cross, He cared for the eternal soul of the man next to Him.

And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.—Luke 23:42-43

Our tendency during suffering is to become so wrapped up in ourselves and in our pain that we forget that every person around us still has an eternal soul. If we will rely on the grace of God during trials, His grace can actually magnify our witness. Remember to reach out with the gospel to those around you.

10. Determine to finish your race.

I’m thankful that Jesus endured to the end, paying the price for all sin.

When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.—John 19:30

We sometimes grow weary in the struggle, but we can finish our race when we look to Jesus for strength, grace, and patient endurance.

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 is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.—Hebrews 12:2

Are you in a season of trial right now? “Consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds” (Hebrews 12:3).

And remember, there is an end. One day we will see Christ face to face. What a joy it will be to stand before Him when our faith becomes sight.

That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:—1 Peter 1:7

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