Updated: Aug 23, 2021
One of the worst parts of my day is car line before school. Everyone is in a rush to drop their child off, they already left the house late, and they have to get to work. I get it, but just because I understand their issues, doesn’t mean this is pleasant for me. Every morning I have the same internal routine, “I just have to suck it up, grit and bear it, then it will be over.” Every morning, I notice it gets harder and harder to do this. The daily grind of it beats down on me, until Friday morning when I am reminded, “I don’t have to do this for 2 whole days!”
For some of us, this illustration can be what we use to describe our entire lives. We just wake up in the morning, grind through the day, go home and sulk, finally go to sleep, wake up, and repeat. Every single day gets worse than the one before. Before we know it, everyday bleeds into the next and we develop the mindset of “life is just suffering, then we die.”
Although, yes there are many who are suffering with many issues, this is not what we as disciples of Jesus should encounter. In John 10 Jesus says,” The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” What is this abundant life Jesus is speaking about?
For some people this means health, wealth, and every good thing that can happen. However, what Jesus is speaking about is the same “New Creation” Paul speaks about in 2 Corinthians 5. The reason the Gospel of Jesus is the Gospel or “Good News” is because with it we can have a new life in Christ.
This has nothing to do with the temporary happiness of material possessions, but this has to do with the eternal joy of knowing Jesus paid it all. All the nastiness, all the sinfulness, all the broken, all the hurting, Jesus paid for it, so we do not have to. I am not naïve enough to believe that we will not suffer as we walk through life’s challenges, but we do not have to walk through them defeated. We walk in victory, if we are in Christ, because Christ is victorious.
I say all this, not as a motivational “hang in there”, but as a way of transforming our minds to see Jesus for who He is, and What He did for you. Life for a disciple is not simply a “suffer through until Heaven”, we are here to bring Glory to God by showing all of creation a Heaven on earth. We are to push back against the darkness and be a light to the world (Matthew 5).
Yes, sometimes we are down, but so was Jesus. Yes, sometimes we have to grind, but so did Jesus. In the end, hold onto the hope found in the Gospel of Jesus. John 16:31-33 wraps this up perfectly, “Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”