This is Part 4 of 6 parts answering the question, “How should we live during the suffering God allows?” in the larger question, “Why does a loving God allow suffering?” Part 5 will be posted Thursday, September 11.
We Need To Fix Our Eyes on the Lord Jesus
Keeping our focus on the Lord Jesus seems like such a simple thing, but doing so in the midst of suffering is not easy! That is why the Lord has given us the Scripture, “…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 has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Heb. 12:2 NKJ) The Biblical mandate is to fix our eyes on the Lord Jesus, just as Jesus fixed His eyes on the Father’s will. The reality is, however, that this command is is not enough for most of us, even when we understand it and are walking in the power of the Holy Spirit. Suffering is inevitable and the enemy wants to create confusion, which can cause many to lose heart. And we often need the strength of others who will walk alongside of us in the midst of the valley of the shadow of death. But the most important thing to remember is that He promised never to leave or forsake us, so keep your eyes on Him. This is the only way for the believer to live!
But then how shall we live? We will suffer and the enemy wants to create confusion, which can cause many to lose heart. The solution is to fix your eyes on the Lord Jesus. There is one way to live!
We Need To Pursue The Holy Life Jesus Lived
God called Adam to a simple life set apart to His will. When the Lord walked with Adam in the Garden of Eden, he could enjoy any tree, except for one. Adam only had to separate himself from ONE tree. Every other tree was fine, but ONE. Likewise, much of today’s world is filled with violence and sin. For this reason we must seek to be separated from the world to the Lord.
There is only one person who perfectly accomplished this separated life – the Lord Jesus. While He was in the world, He was not OF the world. He ministered in the world, but never depended on the it. For example, when the Holy Spirit led Him into the wilderness to be tested (Luke 4:1), He fasted for 40 days. You can imagine how hungry He was at the end of that time. And then Satan showed up and gave him the little urging, “Just turn this stone into bread and you’ll be satisfied!”
However, Jesus did not depend on the world to satisfy Himself, but on the Word of God and the Holy Spirit. How did He react to these enticing suggestions from Satan? First of all, He responded to each temptation, “It is written.” The Lord Jesus depended on the truth and power of Scripture. Secondly, He was totally dependent on the power of the Holy Spirit. In Luke 4:1, the Lord Jesus was led into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit and in Luke 4:14, He was led out of the wilderness by the Holy Spirit. In fact every time there was a miracle, Jesus was in dependence upon the Holy Spirit (cf. Luke 4:18; 5:17; 6:19; 8;46; Acts 10:38; Heb. 9:14). When you pursue life according to God’s Word in the power of the Holy Spirit, you will live as God intended.
There is another important aspect that comes into play as we pursue the Lord – the need to be reflective and take personal responsibility.
Part 5 will be posted September 11, 2014.