From the pen of Dr. Sam Jones
“Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Rev. 2:10).
Experiences in life can take a beating on the faith of Christians. The saints in Smyrna, in the first century, were on the verge of experiencing severe persecution. John wrote this epistle to encourage them to not quit, but to press on. Whether you are a student, faculty or staff, you will experience your share of tribulations, trials, or troubles in this life. There may occur times when you will think that God is unfair with you by giving you a cross you can’t bear or much larger than others. Satan, the devil, wants you to think this way.
Years ago someone wrote the following thought-provoking story entitled “Is Your Cross Too Heavy To Bear?”
The young man was at the end of his rope. Seeing no way out, he dropped to his knees in prayer. “Lord, I can’t go on,” he said. “I have too heavy a cross to bear.” The Lord replied, “My son, if you can’t bear its weight, just place your cross inside this room. Then, open that other door and pick out any cross you wish.” The man was filled with relief and said, “Thank you Lord” and he did as he was told.
Upon entering the other room, he saw many crosses; some so Large the tops were not visible. Then, he spotted a tiny cross leaning against a far wall. “I’d like that one, Lord,” he whispered. The Lord replied, “My son that is the cross you just brought in.” When life’s problems seem overwhelming, it helps to look around and see what other people are coping with. You may consider yourself far more fortunate than you imagined.
As you face today’s life experiences, remember the promise of the Lord to not allow you to encounter a cross or situation that you can’t handle (cf. I Cor. 10:13). The Lord never promised that we could pick our cross, but He promised to be there to help us bear it. The Lord is faithful! Make today a great day!