Just about anything you or I could experience in this life that is hard and unpleasant, including being publicly executed, Jesus endured in the flesh, in His humanity.
While watching a show on YouTube called ‘What Would You Do?‘, a show where they have actors mixed into real situations unawares to see what people would do in response, I came across an especially heart rending episode, and have posted it at the bottom of this article. It centered on a single mom with her two kids, and she could only afford one meal for them to share. Watching the overflowing compassion that strangers had for them in their situation swiftly brought tears to my eyes. And as I watched, the Lord spoke to me about trials, hardship and how He wants us all to grow in grace as we walk with Him.
“Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:14-16 (KJB)
How well I remember my own specialized trial from the Lord, one of many, back in 2013, when my lesbian manager at Citibank fired me on the spot when she found out I was the creator of Now The End Begins. Trusting in the Lord I quickly found a new position at Florida Blue, only to be fired from that job 5 days later, soon after I found out I was blackballed by the recruiter network in NE Florida. Imagine that, but true. Now I was about to find out what trusting in the Lord was really all about.
In just a few months I ran out of money, unable to pay rent, and found myself out on the street and homeless in Florida. One of my dear friends and fellow street preacher Steve took me in and for the entire summer, for the first time in my adult life, I was living on the charity of someone else, unable to pay my own way. Well the Lord ordered every step along the way, and I wouldn’t trade what He showed me during that time for all the money in the world. He used that trial to help me grow in His grace, not to hurt me. How about you?
Now The End Begins is a global ministry and we are in touch with saints all over America and all over the world. Many times people reach out for advice and prayerful counsel, and I am only too happy to give it. I have heard some tough, tough stories of what people go through on a daily basis, Christian people who love the Lord, and are finding themselves in situations they never could have foreseen. Job loved the Lord with all his heart, and he, too, never saw coming what the Lord intended to grow him with.
“And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.” Job 1:8-12 (KJB)
God allowed Satan to take Job’s children, all his wealth, his health, and finally had his wife tell him to “curse God and die”. Why would God allow that? Because Satan is the rod that God’s uses to “correct” His children when they have strayed, when they are backslidden, and when they need to have their faith tested and increased. In the verse below we see God using Satan who will be correcting the Jews during the upcoming time of Jacob’s trouble, and in the verses above that show God using Satan to grow Job about a few things. I bet they don’t preach messages like this in your church, do they? If they did, you wouldn’t be so shocked right now reading it, but it’s true and it’s bible.
“O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation. I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets.” Isaiah 10:5,6 (KJB)
Attorney Horatio Spafford and his wife, Anna, had a wonderful family of four daughters. Tragically, the great Chicago fire destroyed most of his business in 1871. Then, two years later, his wife and daughters were aboard the ocean liner Ville du Havre when it was struck by another vessel. All four daughters drowned.
His wife survived and nine days later was able to contact her husband by telegraph with this question: “Saved alone—what shall I do?”
Spafford took the next available ship to join his wife. During the passage, the captain of the ship notified Spafford they were crossing the place where the Ville du Havre had sunk. After those moments of reflection and over the course of the rest of the journey, Spafford penned the words of the beloved hymn “It Is Well With My Soul“.
So what do you do when you’re going through a trial that puts you to bed in tears and wakes you up with anxiety? You do what Job did, what David did, what Joseph did, what Jesus did in the garden of Gethsemane, submit to it and allow His will to have rule and reign over you. For the blood-bought, born again follower of Jesus Christ there is no other way. None at all.
“And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.” Matthew 26:39,42 (KJB)
Are you homeless? Jesus was homeless. Are you lonely and feeling betrayed? Jesus was also. Just about anything you or I could experience in this life that is hard and unpleasant, including being publicly executed, Jesus endured in the flesh, in His humanity. So when Jesus invites you to cast all your care on Him, He knows what He’s talking about, He knows what it’s like to have your particular problems, and He knows how to fix you.
“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.” 1 Timothy 6:6-8 (KJB)
You see, the Bible does not show us a God who gets you out of the storm, the Bible shows us God who gets us through the storm, time and time again. When the summer of 2013 was over, God began opening doors for me that were nothing less than amazing and awesome. I have never again worked as the highly-paid employee of a major corporation as I had done for 20 years prior, but I have never not had food on my table, clothes on my back, or a roof over my head, either. God is good, and if you’re saved, He wants to grow you in His grace and love. Trust Him. If you’re not saved, you can take care of your most pressing problem right now by clicking here.
What Would You Do?
Watch this episode all the way through, and see what it does for your attitude. It did wonders for me.
It Is Well with My Soul: Historical Origins of the beloved hymn
Several legends have grown up around the great Christian hymn “It Is Well.” The primary sources help establish a more accurate understanding of the origins of this hymn. Some versions overly sentimentalize the facts, gloss over Spafford’s doctrinal drift, or completely ignore the events surrounding the composer of the tune that accompanied the lyrics. The actual facts are moving enough even without sentimentalizing them. Nevertheless, the story of the writing of both lyrics and tune is a source of great encouragement and hope to those who struggle under the burden of overwhelming sorrow. May this video inspire you with that hope.
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