Embracing Christ begins at the cross. An acknowledgment of the Crucifixion of Jesus isn’t enough for understanding its relevance. We have to absorb His reason for suffering. Here we need to concede to our innermost selves the eternal significance of Christ’s death.
Faith in Christ goes beyond proclaiming His existence. Yes, spreading the Gospel of Christ is essential, but we must go further. We need to anchor our mind, heart and spirit in God’s will. (James 4:8) Failure in doing so prevents us from receiving the Lord’s gift of salvation.
Christ left us this warning:
“Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21)
God’s will is simple and requires an up close and personal commitment to Christ. Abiding in Christ takes endurance, self-control, and vigorous action. It’s giving Christ our full attention by setting aside time each day and embracing His holiness. This means placing our personal commitments on hold and humbling ourselves before Him. Peter understood the urgency of devotion.
It’s easy to lean on Christ during good times. But the world is full of temptations, injustices, and unsaved souls. Sometimes life doles out troubles we are incapable of handling alone.
Loss of a job, the death of a loved one and physical illness are everyday occurrences in life. Difficult people, being hurt by others without cause and rudeness are encounters we can’t avoid. And without Christ’s intervention our lives get worse.
Our response to those tough parts of life is where God looks at our faithfulness and takes notice. The real trial comes when we put forth the spiritual effort and still suffer. Here our trust in God through rigorous faith pays a spiritual reward. We need to remind ourselves, our eternal inheritance came through Christ’s pain. (1 Peter 1:3-7)
Every time we overcome problems with Christ’s help our ability to live righteous increases. Christ removes the weakness of the flesh and strengthens our souls. The mercy of Christ renews our spirits and keeps us thirsty to continue drinking from His eternal well.
The greatest way of preventing the evil one from taking us away from God is to center our lives in Christ’s body. Satan flees from God, for he knows Christ has conquered sin. Embrace Christ and watch the devil run for cover. (James 4:7)
Salvation in the flesh isn’t the end of suffering, but knowing the freedom God supplies in times of tribulations. We are directed to rejoice in our pain giving glory to Christ for saving our souls. Embracing Christ in the midst of troubling circumstances is favorable to God. (1 Peter 4:1-2)
God will release us from suffering, but we need to be patient and remember He works in mysterious ways. Our Father never leaves the faithful in darkness and keeps His promises.
God makes embracing Christ is so satisfying it becomes our number one priority. We lose interest in selfish things and become selfless servants eager to give than receive. Our lives become useful, meaningful and whole. And we understand the spiritual condition of our souls outweighs our personal interests.
The best way I can testify to the peace God brings in times of suffering is the death of my dad. I was grief stricken and overwhelmed with sorrow. Here I faced the reality of losing a loved one. Christ took my hand and walked me through the negative emotions. The Lord eased the pain and freed me from the chains of sadness. God’s grace sustained me, and I’m forever grateful for His compassion.
We have discussed suffering as a way to embrace Christ. Many more opportunities are available. Pain isn’t the only way. The Bible is full of scriptures directing our actions to conform to God’s will. Through the Holy Spirit, we know Christ is real. God makes sure He is alive. Embracing Christ isn’t mastered for it’s a daily effort in preparing ourselves for heaven.