There is something cathartic about being outdoors. Sunshine and fresh air do wonders for the soul. While enjoying nature the other day, I came across this thorn bush.
I couldn’t help but notice the size and strength of each thorn that covered this large bush. My spirit jolted as this thought spoke loudly: God knew these thorns would pierce the head of His only Son. Yet, He created them.
A few days later I saw this little verse hidden in Psalm 107 “Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He calmed the storm to a whisper and stilled the waves.”
Psalms 107:28-29 NLT
Wait…what? Hundreds of years before the disciples were on a storm tossed sea the Psalmist wrote about their distress and about how Jesus would calm the storm! I couldn’t believe it. How had I never seen this? And the thought came again – this very moment in history was prophesied and known! Yet, Jesus sent the disciples out into that storm. He knew the distress His disciples would face but He sent them out anyway.
God’s perspective reaches beyond the pain. He sees what comes next. He saw that Peter would walk on water and His faith would grow in that storm.
Jesus focuses on the end goal. Hebrews 12 verse 2 says “ (Jesus’) example is this: Because His heart was focused on the joy of knowing that you would be his, he endured the agony of the cross and conquered its humiliation, and now sits exalted at the right hand of the throne of God!” Hebrews 12:2 TPT
He saw you and I. He saw the intimate relationship He would enjoy with His children. He saw that He would be seated at the right hand of His Father. He endured the worst kind of suffering because He saw the bigger picture and was willing to sacrifice Himself for it.
What is our bigger picture? What are we holding onto and willing to endure trials for? The writer of Hebrews goes on to say, “So consider carefully how Jesus faced such intense opposition from sinners who opposed their own souls, so that you won’t become worn down and cave in under life’s pressures. After all, you have not yet reached the point of sweating blood in your opposition to sin.” Hebrews 12:3-4 TPT
Our suffering will never compare to what Jesus endured but we can learn so much from Him.
I used to think the big picture we needed to hold onto was breakthrough – everything turning out neatly, like a present wrapped with a pretty bow. I am coming to realize this is a fickle goal and prize. The goal we should have in mind when facing trials and storms is to draw nearer and nearer to Jesus. Intimacy with Him and a closer and deeper walk with our Father needs to become the deepest longing of our heart. He gave His life for relationship with us. Are we prepared to face the storms and trials of life with this one goal in mind: Jesus?
Oh how I long for Him to be the only prize that I fix my attention on. My perspective can be so warped and my understanding limited. Our faith is tested so that we can increasingly look like Jesus. When He is the One our eyes and heart are fixed on, we will begin to reflect Him more and more.
Think of Peter walking on the stormy water. When his eyes were fixed on Jesus He was able to defy physics and logic. He didn’t care about the stormy waves or precarious position of their boat. He saw Jesus and He wanted to be with Him, regardless of the cost.
May we take our eyes off the storm and fix our eyes on the Jesus. May we never give up, “For even though our outer person gradually wears out, our inner being is renewed every single day. We view our slight, short-lived troubles in the light of eternity. We see our difficulties as the substance that produces for us an eternal, weighty glory far beyond all comparison, because we don’t focus our attention on what is seen but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but the unseen realm is eternal.”
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 TPT
— By Michelle Frost