Enduring The Cross
(week 42, 2002)
The daily cross the Lord Jesus told us to carry as Christians is the daily denial of self and the desires of the flesh, in order to do the will of God (Luke 9: 23, Gal. 5: 24).
Many times it involves suffering to do the will of God: in fact the scripture says Jesus Himself learned obedience by the things He suffered (Heb. 5: 8).
Many times it is because we cannot endure the sufferings obedience demands that we disobey God.
In our article this week we will see how to endure carrying the daily cross of crucifying the flesh with its affections and lusts to obey God (Gal. 5: 24).
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 is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Here we see that Jesus endured the cross by paying attention to the joy that was set before Him, rather than concentrating on the suffering He was presently experiencing.
It is by doing the same that we will be able to endure our daily cross.
In fact, the Bible says that in the presence of God there is fullness of joy (Ps. 16: 11). So by concentrating on the presence of God with you, rather than on the suffering you are experiencing, the fullness of joy from the presence of God will give the strength to endure the suffering. This is because the joy of the Lord is our strength (Neh. 8:10).
In fact, the Bible says we are to know the fellowship of His sufferings (Phil. 3:10). This also means that God fellowships or shares in our sufferings. The scripture says Christ is touched with the feeling of our infirmities (Heb. 4: 15) so He fellowships with us in our sufferings. This thought will be a great comfort and encouragement to us when we have to suffer to do His will.
So to endure the cross we:
Pray daily in the spirit to generate the presence of God.
Walk in the consciousness of God’s presence by faith.
When faced with suffering to do the will God concentrate on God’s presence in fellowship with you during the suffering rather than on the suffering itself.