REPOST Today’s Spiritual Food for Thought, provided by Jabez Yeo, now a friend of AMI, was first posted on August 1, 2015.
Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend
“Undergoing the Challenges of Life”
During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. 8 Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered 9 and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him”
One of my favorite movies is the original Karate Kid. The main character, Daniel LaRusso, is the new kid who gets picked on by bullies who know karate. To learn how to fight back, Daniel asks his neighbor Mr. Miyagi to teach him karate. Mr. Miyagi agrees but immediately instructs Daniel to begin washing cars, polishing floors and painting fences. After a week of frustration, Daniel confronts Mr. Miyagi about the lack of training; but only after sparring with Mr. Miyagi does he realize that those exact chores were the means to develop his muscle memory for karate.
All of us, like Daniel, will go through seemingly fruitless life circumstances. Our Lord Jesus did so Himself. He who was omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent endured His own suffering by being made in human likeness (Phil. 2:7). Like us, Jesus was exposed to hunger, temptation and hard work. And though He was able to discuss religion superbly at age 12 (Luke 2:41-52), He was raised as a carpenter and did not began preaching until age 30. Why was this?
Hebrews 5:7-9 answers by stating that Jesus had to be made perfect by learning obedience through suffering. “This does not mean that he was once disobedient and then became obedient,” as John Piper writes. Rather, “it means that Jesus moved from untested obedience into suffering and then through suffering into tested and proven obedience.” Piper then explains that “if Christ is going to lead us to glory, then He must succeed in sufferings where we failed.” Thankfully, Jesus did exactly that by becoming completely obedient, even to the point of death on a cross (Phil. 2:8).
If Jesus, who knew no sin (2 Cor. 5:21), had to be perfected through life’s trials, how much more do we who are sinful need that perfection process? In our lives today, let us pray that we will have a willing heart to undergo challenges God has placed in our lives. Let’s pray that from those challenges, we may be perfected in order to do the good works God has prepared us to do (Eph. 2:10).
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for being the example of complete obedience and submission. Thank You for being the High Priest who has been tempted in every way but did not sin; thank You for being able to empathize with my weaknesses. Lord, help me to confidently approach Your throne of grace, so that I may receive mercy and find grace to help in times of need. In Your Name I pray, Amen
Bible Reading for Today: Acts 8-9