Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…
“The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!”…
“Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.”
John 12: 12-13 & 27-28 (ESV)
So what do you do when you can’t do anymore?
How do you move forward when your legs are too tired to lift?
What’s next when you’ve fallen and failed yet again at something at which you thought you would be good?
What do you look forward to when all hope seems to be gone?
I would suspect in any of those situations, perseverance is not one of your first thoughts.
I don’t know what last week was like for you, or what this week is shaping up to be, but I suspect if you haven’t been faced with any of those situations I posed above—you and I—or someone we know and love—will be facing some or all of them sometime and somewhere in the future?
The journey we are on together is one-of-a-kind, with each of us uniquely created by the God of the universe. Created unlike anyone who has ever been, is now or ever will be. Something to celebrate, yet often we are faced with situations like those above where we are at a loss as to what to do next or what to hope for next.
That’s where it may help us, as I was reminded recently by a friend, to take a look at one who has been there before and see what He did to get through the moment and onward into the journey.
The scripture above paints the picture of Christ as He enters Jerusalem on Palm Sunday—which is fast approaching as we sit here today.
As He entered the city the people proclaimed: “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!”
They were excited. The long-awaited Messiah had finally come to save the day, replace the Roman rulers and take charge over their lives. He was the conquering hero. But Christ didn’t have that same level of excitement. He knew that within a few days His journey through town and His ministry among them would end with His hanging on the cross. Maybe we haven’t been hung out like He was, but we’ve felt that sense of despair, anxiety and hopelessness before in our lives.
But what was His response? Does he wonder how He can get out of that mess? Does he focus on His plight? No. He perseveres, and continues on. And not only that, but a look at verses twenty-seven and twenty-eight above tell us something more about Christ’s approach to what is before Him:
“Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’?
“But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.”
In His most despairing of moments in His life and ministry, Christ did not ask: “How can I get out of this?”, but instead He asked: “How can God’s name be glorified in this?”
Easy enough for Him to say, you say. God’s Son!
But think about it. We’ve talked before about God always knowing where we are, always being with us, and always being able to use us and mold us into more—right where we are. We also know that as He has done it before in our lives, God will work out everything for our good. Romans 8: 28. And when we look back on our lives we can see time and time again where He has done that.
So, with those assurances, why not also persevere and embrace the journey, remembering that He has us where He wants us, He is with us, and He will work it all out for our good. And in that, why not focus less on ourselves, and more with excitement and anticipation, to see what God will do, and to see how He will be glorified in the midst of that of which He has us in the middle.
So what do you do when you can’t do anymore, or can’t move forward another step, or have fallen and failed one too many times, and when you look into tomorrow it appears that all hope seems to be gone?
At any of those moments, why not remember that God has you right where He wants you, He is with you, and He will work out whatever you and He are facing or are in the middle of for your good, and even more, that though it all—He will be glorified.
“What shall I say? Save me from this moment? No. God, be glorified in it!”
And with that attitude and through whatever—you and He will always persevere.
In His Name—Scott
Copyright 2013. Scott L. Whitaker. All rights reserved.