This Side of Eternity

by Dottie Ryan

Life is difficult this side of eternity.  And sometimes just trying to hold on to enough faith to believe that He really does have you – that He really is sovereign in your life – that He really is weaving it all together for your good – that He’s not forgotten you … well, that can seem like more faith than we have.  Aren’t you so glad that it is He who holds on to us?  That it is His perfect life, His perfect death, His perfect resurrection . . . Christ’s perfect finished work that the Father sees.  No wrath for us.  Peace.  Love.  Joy.  Even when it doesn’t “feel” like it.  So let’s not lose our focus.  Eyes on Him!  Admit our difficulties and pain but without losing sight of who He is and what He has done on our behalf.  And that He – God – too, suffered more than we can ever know.  The author of Hebrews tells us that He, yes, even Jesus was made perfect through His sufferings (Hebrews 2:10) and that He “offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death (Hebrews 5:7, NIV).  And He was heard.

We are Daughters of the King!  So we rejoice in Him!

Yet we also suffer.  Walking out life on planet earth is difficult.  So we count the cost.  And trusting what the Lord has promised in Ecclesiastes 3:11: “He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart…” we move forward focused on Christ knowing that our suffering is temporary.  We cry out to Him and lean in on Him whose yoke is easy.  His yoke is easy and so we come to Him just as we are – weary and heavy laden – looking for the promised rest for our souls (Matthew 11:28 paraphrased).  He is faithful.

Jesus knows perfectly what you and I are going through.  Hebrews 2:17-18 reminds us that he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, . . .For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”  He suffered.  He took on every pain we have ever or will ever know and feel: He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.…” (Isaiah 53:3-5, NASB).  Let this sink in.  Look to the Cross.  And keep eternity in mind.

When Jesus cried out to the Father in the midst of His torment, he was heard because of His reverent submission (Hebrews 5:7, NIV).  And because of Him, our cries are also heard.

Together let’s will keep the Truth as our guidepost.  Let’s make deliberate choices to believe the Word of God is true no matter what we are going through.  And as sisters let us hold each other accountable, lift each other up in prayer, and walk forward, step-by-step until our sojourn on this earth is over.  And then, O to see His Face . . .  Glory!

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