PASTORS' DAILY DEVOTIONAL
His Tough LoveJohn Tilton
"During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered." (Hebrews 5:7-8)
I can only imagine how Jesus' prayers and petitions to God were so passionate that He would utter loud cries that caused his Spirit to shed tears, and that He was heard not because He was the son of Christ but rather because of his reverent or respectful submission to God, where God knew his inner heart and thoughts of presenting all of Himself to the Father. We know that most fathers would do anything for their children and therefore a fathers' desire is to grant their children all of their hearts desires. Knowing this wouldn't our default and tendency be to say, "help me my Father," and try to get out of suffering the consequences. Yet, Jesus chose to suffer the consequences in order that He would learn and grow. I often hear people say that if God is so good, why is there sin and suffering in the world? It is so clear in these scriptures that although God doesn't mean us harm, it is when we face challenging times; God can turn that into blessings for us to learn and grow. I'd like to call it tough love. God allows us to encounter and experience things that may not often be agreeable to us because He loves us so much and knows that through challenges, we can be better if we turn to Him and His promises. It's a tough love where we can look back years down the road and say, "I see what God was doing back then."
My DNA is to desire to have things go well and easy in my life. I have been blessed and some things have come easy. Yet, I know that things don't always come easy and that there will be trials and challenges in my life. It is then that my passionate prayers and cries to God will be for His will to take place in my life even if what I want is not granted and I have to instead learn a tough lesson because of tough love.
Lord, thank you for allowing me to know that you loved me so much that you gave your Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for my sins. If you can do that and Jesus can accept his fate, then I want to always remember the price Jesus paid for me and how my suffering is nothing compared to what Jesus endured and therefore, I need to have the mind set to learn, grow and love more from my challenges.