How Can I Endure?



Jesus said in Mark 8:34, “Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Most of us who call ourselves Christians desire to follow Jesus. We know that He will lead us in the “straight and narrow,” which ministers life and life abundantly. He is Love and in His leading, this Love will provide God’s best for us. …But what is this “denying ourselves and taking up a cross?”


“Denying ourselves” is choosing rather to follow Jesus, His Word, and His leading rather than oppose Jesus and do what we will. Jesus never said that following Him would be easy. In fact, we see that Jesus makes it very plain that if we sincerely desire to follow Him, there is a taking up of His cross. Jesus denied His own deliverance from the suffering of a cross to submitting His will to the will of the Father. Remember Mark 14:36, Jesus prays while in the Garden of Gethsemane, “…take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.” We read in Mat. 26:53 that Jesus declared to His disciples that He could have cried to the Father for deliverance, and He would have sent 72,000 angels to deliver Him. If Jesus had been delivered from His cross, our cross would have been an eternal damnation. Praise God that He so loved us that He refused His deliverance so that we might go free from satan’s grasp.


How could Jesus remain in the agony of bearing depression for all people, the scourging, the beating, the mockery, the cross, and His descending to the lower parts of the earth to be punished for what He did not do? We read in Heb. 12:2, “…who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross.” Jesus would not have endured if He had considered the unjust treatment or His present circumstances; but He endured by turning His eyes in faith to His heavenly Father. He was suffering for a purpose. Every stripe, beating, crown of thorns, nails that pierced His flesh, and torment of demons fulfilled His title, “The Lamb of God, Who taketh away the sins of the world.” He endured to the end. He completed the Will of the Father by looking unto His joy, YOU AND ME!


We have a cross to bear. Sometimes our cross is extremely hard to carry. Will we run from our call to follow Jesus or will we look unto the joy set before us and endure to the end? We can endure if we will look unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith. He is our joy. Declare the promises of God’s Word and see yourself with the answers to your prayers. Remember, “many are the afflictions of the righteous; but the Lord delivereth him out of them all" (Ps. 34:19). We are promised deliverance; so let us rejoice, while enduring our cross. The Lord says in Is. 45:22, “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” As the old song goes, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full into His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the Light of His glory and grace.” “You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a dedicated nation, {God’s} own purchased, special people, that you may set forth the wonderful deeds and display the virtues and perfections of Him Who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (I Pet. 2:9, Amp.)


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