Enduring Hardships as Christ Did For Our Sake
By Archdeacon Habib Guirgus
If you are hit by a calamity, or fell in a temptation, do not give in or let your heart be troubled, but endure it with patience and open mind. Do not let it overcome you, but strive and struggle to conquer it. Remember your Savior, He was tempted and went through many trials in several areas, "For in that, He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted" (Hebrews 2:18). He is able to "Sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin" (Hebrews 4:15).
can you be installed with Christ if you did not suffer with Him? If you desire
to live with Him, you have to die with Him, Who suffered the cross, and do not
magnify your trials and slanders and hurt, and feel sorry for yourself. Remember
that your Savior endured all these temptations and trials. You will not be able
to be like Abel unless you are hit by Cain's evil. You will not be able to
enter the land of Canaan till you cross the wilderness first. No one can enter
into glory and reign with Christ unless they accept to suffer with Him. If you
desire to live with Him, you have to look like Him in everything. As He died,
you have to die with Him. As He suffered, you have to suffer with Him. As He
rose, you will rise with Him. Then you will be able to enter with Him into
glory as He did, "if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be
glorified together" (Romans 8:17).
If temptations increased or pushed hard against you, do not be troubled but be aware that, "the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptation" (II Peter 2:9).
The pot-maker does not leave his pots in the furnace till it burns, and the jeweler does not keep his silver and gold in the fire more than needed, so, the Lord will not leave you in the furnace of temptation, "but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it" (I Corinthians 10:13). Accept in joy, happiness and patience all the temptations, troubles, pain, trials, calamities, sicknesses, persecutions, insults, slanders, and mocking which come upon you, as St. James said; "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials" (James 1:2). When you put the example of Christ before you, all your troubles will become trivial, for He was tempted in everything and suffered and is able to aid those who are tempted. If you are suffering poverty, and the coldness of the weather, or have no shelter or cover, etc. remember that, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head" (Matthew 8:20).
"A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief... Surely He has borne our grieves and carried our sorrows" (Isaiah 53:4, 3; Matthew 8:17).
If you lost a loving, faithful and dear friend, remember that Jesus cried for His beloved Lazarus. If you are hit by a betrayal from one of your beloved, do not forget that one of His friends and disciples, who ate with Him, sold Him to His enemies for 30 pieces of silver!
If you are accused in a situation, or falsely alleged against, or others are raising doubts, lies and slanders, do not be weakened and be impatient, but rather be strong and remember that the words of slander, blasphemy, and lies went through the heart of the Lord Jesus Christ as sharp spears. They called Him 'drunken... friend of sinners and tax collectors'; they moved their lips against Him and their tongues uttered hurt. So, if you heard all this against you, be aware that Jesus' was hurt before you, and that He can help you and support you.
Endure it in calmness and peace for "As He is tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted", and do not let temptations overcome you, and weaken you, but rather let your patience and steadfastness of faith conquer.
The stars do not illuminate except in the darkest nights, and the brave soldier does not reveal his strength except during war times, and the smart captain does not show his smartness except during tumultuous waves and winds. So whenever temptations hit you, and pilled its sorrow above your shoulders take it as a reason to grow in grace and strengthen your patience and follow the Lord Jesus, as the Israelites grew in grace and number, during their temptations.
As the waters are high, so is the ship, thus, you should be elevated in virtue when trials and temptations come.
All this should quickly lead you to Christ, the safe-harbor, and honest shield, and invincible fortress.
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