BY RODNEY NANTZ | COLUMNIST
“ lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20 NASBS
Christian, the words that Jesus spoke to His disciples before He was taken into heaven, “lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age,” brings hope to our troubled hearts today. These words are like ointment to the wounded soul, and if understood, it will strengthen everyone who is in Christ. So, labor diligently to grasp hold of this truth and let it affect the way you live each day. By doing so, you will not lose heart because of the struggles of this life. Always remember, though you have to walk through the fiery trials of temptation, Jesus has already gone before you. Even though this fallen body suffers the afflictions of this life, and will one day see the grave, the Holy Spirit testifies to our spirit that Jesus has conquered death, and we are already victorious in Him. The author of Hebrews tells us, “But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.” And not only did he taste death for His church, but the scriptures also tell us, “He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.”
Oh, how easy it is in this life to become blinded by the earthly battles against sin. And often we forget that God Himself entered into the same battles that we face each day, so that through Him, we are more than conquerors. Isaiah pens, He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.”
Christian soldier, it is here you do not back down from the deceiving lies of unbridled emotions, but learn to lean on the word of God. Bring yourself, by the power of the Spirit, into union with Christ’s desires, His motives, always persevering in the truth. Do not allow these struggles to harden your heart, but rather see them as the means by which you will be conformed into the image of Christ, being sanctified for His glory. Spurgeon wrote, “As Jesus is, so are we also in this world, You must bear the cross, or you shall never wear the crown; you must wade through the mire, or you shall never walk the golden pavement. Cheer up, then, poor Christian. Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof.” John Flavel wrote concerning the soul in a crisis, “The Word of God is the only support and relief to a gracious soul in the dark day of affliction. … One Word of God can do more than ten thousand words of men to relieve a distressed soul.” So come now beloved of God, rise up and enter into the battles of this life with joy, for Jesus is with you even until the end of the age.