Life is harsh sometimes.
Within one week I’d received five emails that left my head spinning: A husband and father took his own life after a 20-year battle with depression—12 days before his sister’s wedding. A young man left his wife and two wee children. A woman struggling with chronic pain hit a life-or-death crisis. Cancer claimed a friend’s husband. A 48-year-old cousin discovered that her cancer had returned, with a vengeance.
Each message broke my heart and drove me to prayer on behalf of those involved. One of my requests was for God to give them strength to walk the journey before them—a tall order, perhaps, for those feeling as though their knees were knocked out from under them, but not impossible.
Where does a person find strength to move forward when his normal has flipped upside down? Where does one find strength to adapt to change forced by circumstances he didn’t choose?
For those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ for salvation, that strength is found in the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Here’s the ultimate example of how He enables us to face incredible hardship and come through it victoriously:
Scripture tells us of how Jesus Christ faced death by crucifixion for a crime He did not commit. As the hour of His death drew near, He prayed to His Father in heaven, “Please, take this cup from Me.” His emotions were so intense that He sweat drops of blood.
Being God’s Son, Christ could have called legions of angels to His rescue, but He did not. Instead, He willingly walked the road to the cross and allowed soldiers to nail His hands and feet in place. He suffered an excruciating death on our behalf, and He did so by choice. Where did He find the strength to do this? In the power of the Holy Spirit: “For by the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins” (Hebrews 9:14).
Yes, life is harsh sometimes, and God knows it well. That’s why He promises never to leave us. That’s also why He sent the Holy Spirit to comfort and empower us. The same Spirit who enabled Christ to face unspeakable pain lives in us.
In the power of the Holy Spirit, no difficulty we face is insurmountable. Let this truth sink deep into your heart today, my friend. Let it bring light into the darkness where hopelessness and fear prevail. Let it transform your thinking and perspective. And let it flood your heart with peace so that a hurting world will see a difference in you and ask the question: “Where does your strength lie?”