‘Consider Him who endured such opposition.’ Hebrews 12:3 NIV
Do you remember the old hit song by Elvis Presley, Don’t You Step On My Blue Suede Shoes? You won’t get too far in life before somebody does that very thing, and steps on your toes. But before you get discouraged and throw in the towel, take another look at the life of Jesus. Though He was perfect in all ways, He was criticised continually. His enemies called Him a ‘glutton and a drunkard.’ (Matthew 11:19 NIV) They even accused Him of being possessed by a demon (see John 8:48). Yet He never allowed bitterness or discouragement to defeat Him. To Him, every obstacle was an opportunity to demonstrate grace and grit. His heart was broken by those He loved, yet He understood and comforted others. He saw disease as an opportunity to heal those who were sick; hatred as an opportunity to love His enemies; temptation as an opportunity to overcome the carnal impulses we all deal with; and offences as an opportunity to forgive. He went through life turning trials into triumphs—and He’s our example. The Bible says, ‘Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.’ Pick up your Bible and reread His teachings. In His famous Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said: ‘You have heard that it was said, “Love your neighbour and hate your enemies.” But I say to you, love your enemies. Pray for those who hurt you. If you do this, you will be true children of your Father in Heaven… you must be perfect, just as your Father in Heaven is perfect.’ (Matthew 5:43–48 NCV) That’s how Jesus lived—and that’s how He wants you to live too.
SoulFood: Gen 42–43, Jn 18:19–40, Ps 148:1–6, Ecc 5:1–3
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2023