4 Apr 2017
The way of Jesus is not always an easy one. Things like: prayer, fasting, and almsgiving all take a certain amount of discipline. And discipline doesn’t always come easy. Holding our tongue when we’d rather gossip can be difficult. Loving our neighbor, when we’d rather not, is difficult. And being honest with ourselves about our sins and failings can be downright painful.
Like the Israelites wandering in the desert, I suppose we could have a lot to complain about. After all, following in the way of Jesus is not always an easy one.
But this is where the Cross comes in. When we’re tempted to complain about the hardships of being a Christian, we look at the Cross. And we’re reminded pretty quickly that we “have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood” [Hebrews 12:4]. In anyone had a justifiable right to complain about hardship in following God, it was Jesus. But he didn’t complain.
Just like the serpent in the desert, the Cross is a pain in our side and—at the same time—the remedy for that pain. When the difficulties of Christian living become a pain, it’s a healing thing to look upon the Cross and to realize: I don’t have much to complain about. Actually, I have much to be thankful for.