By Scott Hilgendorff / Cowboys of the Cross

There is a lot of teaching out there that focuses on God making life great for us here. Yet the reality is that sometimes the people we perceive to be the worst unbelieving sinners, seem to have all the money and success while we try to live by God’s word and feel like we’re always struggling against defeat.

The idea that with more faith comes more gifts from God is really misleading and if you work with horses or cattle or compete in rodeo, this is something you should be able to understand. If you work with them long enough or compete in enough events, you are going to get hurt, no matter how much faith you have. It’s just how this world works. It’s broken. Adam and Eve actually broke it by choosing to commit the first sin. Because of that, they choose for there to be people capable of causing harm in the world and for earthquakes, disease and even rodeo accidents to be something that could happen. We live with the consequences of that including God’s punishment of sin without a saving faith in Jesus.

Jesus was sent here to die on the cross while taking on all of God’s wrath meant for our sins so that with belief, repentance and asking to be forgiven, we would no longer face that wrath but instead be welcomed into Heaven as if we were without sin. Even though it was meant to be, Jesus going to the cross was a tremendous trail, one so intense that there was blood in his sweat as he prayed and asked God to not have him go through with the intense suffering he knew he was about to face.

Luke 22:39-43 Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. 40 On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” 41 He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” 43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him.

Of course God could not remove this trail from Jesus’s life but in verse 43, we see God sent an angel to give Jesus the strength he needed to endure what was to come.

We can ask God to deliver us or others from a trial and know that He might, but we should also ask for strength to endure it.

When our focus is on Jesus and as we become more like him, we find that even when we face trials and struggles, our attitude has also changed and go through those challenges stronger and less negatively impacted by them than before we knew Jesus. That doesn’t mean we don’t sometimes struggle or cry out to God for deliverance or relief like Jesus did on the Mountain of Olives. What we have that others don’t, is the strength to get through it when we ask God for help and trust in His perfect plan.

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