Most of us have worked a job before and most of us probably work one now. Most jobs have parts that are enjoyable while there are other parts that are less so. It has always been my view that even if you find something you love to do, there will be parts that you have to withstand in order to do the part you love. For a teacher, they may love the time with the kids but not enjoy the prep work as much. For the mechanic, they may love the rebuild of the engine but not enjoy the clean-up as much. I’m sure you get the point. There are times we must take the bad with the good. Now, let’s read this week’s Bible text and focus in on the first few verses in both the Mark and Matthew accounts. Read it here:
http://www.esvbible.org/Mark%208%3A31-33/ - Mark 8:31-33
http://www.esvbible.org/Matthew%2016%3A21-23/ - Matthew 16:21-23
Taking the good with the bad (and visa-versa) is one of the way’s we learn not to regress. Expecting that there is more to the story and that most things in life have hard parts to go with the glorious parts…this will help us be resilient against the struggle. Peter had just heard Jesus tell them plainly that He must suffer, be killed and then rise again. He couldn’t have focused in on the ‘rise again’ part…because that is the absolute proof of who He is…but he didn’t. He couldn’t get past the suffering and killing. How could Jesus, the Son of God, need to go through with that? Why must He deal with something so bad when He was somebody so good? In order for Jesus to do the ultimate good - save us - He must endure the ultimate bad - suffering and death. Have you ever balked at the idea of something bad that you needed to endure? Maybe you have seen someone you care about deal with bad and not understood why…
Jesus set a powerful example for us in how we must be prepared to endure tough times in this life. Rather than run from them or worry about them, what if we spent our time preparing for them? How do we do that? How might a soldier prepare for war? How might a teacher prepare for school to start back up? How might a Christian prepare to live out their faith where they live or work or play? Prayer - Time in The Word - appropriate expectations - etc.
I’m probably one of the more ‘glass is full and overflowing’ people in this world. I expect things to go pretty good most of the time. Yet, I have learned to expect a few thorns with the roses. It helps me. Taking the bad with the good is what Jesus did. It is what Peter had to be ok with what Jesus did. It’s what you and I will have to do - often. Are you ready?
For more devotional thoughts you can visit www.windcitychurch.org/blog/ . We meet for worship at 3:16pm each Sunday at The Link at 353 W. A Street in downtown Casper. Be Our Guest on Sunday or at one of our Missional Communities that meet at various times and locations around the Casper Metro Area.