PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• It’s 6:47 AM as I start writing this morning, and my brain already feels full to capacity. I’m reading another Philip Yancey book and it’s called, “The Jesus I Never Knew.”
This morning’s chapter was focused on The Sermon on the Mount. Reading that felt like a workout—so much to absorb and insights to be considered. It was a lot to process, even as I work on my fourth cup of coffee. I’m not sure I’ll ever tackle an essay on that one… But I sure do recommend Yancey’s!
In the book, Martin Luther King, Jr. was quoted, “Christianity has always insisted that the cross we bear precedes the crown we wear.” Of course, logically—that makes sense. But it’s not something I’ve given a lot of thought to. I know I’m supposed to carry my cross. Jesus told us that in Luke 9:23 ESV, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”
And while I do spend a lot of time thinking about a future in heaven, I don’t spend a lot of time thinking of how my cross is preparing me for it. My cross is a prayer burden that is so heavy that sometimes, I just don’t know how long God is going to ask me to bear it. Especially when I know it’s a request that is aligned with His will and He promises us that anything we ask for that aligns with His will, He will answer (1 John 5:14-15).
Yet, as James wrote, “He gives more grace” (James 4:6a).
When I’m tired and discouraged, after years of praying for this one thing, God reminds me to take up my cross, follow Jesus, and through a far-more-than-I-realized-was-possible-examination-of-the-Beatitudes, He reminds me that in the end, blessings and a crown await me.
I must stay persistent in prayer and trusting in Jesus. My hope remains in Him.
Today, as you pray, thank God for His grace that is far more abundant than we deserve. Thank Him that just when we come to the end of ourselves, He reminds us that He is everlasting. Ask the Holy Spirit to keep your hope strong, and when the cross is too heavy, ask Him to pray on your behalf.