• Aubrey Shackelford

Strength to do the uncomfortable

Updated: Jan 4

So often I believe the lie the enemy has sown in my mind, that I am too weak to overcome my uncomfortable circumstances ... that I don't have the strength to fulfill Gods purpose for my life. But further, the enemy tempts me to give up and stop fighting for a brighter future. But he is so wrong about my future and yours. You and I are more than capable to fight and demonstrate strength, even when we feel weak. Let's look and see what Gods word says.

"He told them, 'My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.' He went on a little farther and bowed his face to the ground, praying, ' My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet, I want your will to be done, not mine.'"
- Matthew 26: 38-39, NLT

Jesus is by far the individual who knows how to showcase strength in the midst of uncomfortable circumstances. He knew what the future held for him, he felt discomfort and still persevered, keeping his eyes on the Fathers will and not His own. Further, Jesus knows what its like to be tempted by the devil, to not do Gods will, to take a route that was more "comfortable" ... but he chose the latter and stayed faithful. Jesus lived a human life, he can relate to the suffering, temptation, and other challenges we face on a daily basis. But lets take a deeper dive into the truth of this topic.

After being baptized by John, Jesus is lead into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan. For 40 days and 40 nights the devil would not leave him alone. And Satan is predictable in the sense that he has three main tactics; temptation, deception, and accusation. In Matthew 4 of course, temptation and deception is very clear on Satans' part, but he was unsuccessful. "During that time the devil came and said to him, 'If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.' But Jesus told him, 'No! The scriptures say, ' People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'" (Matt. 4:3-4, NLT). Now even though this is a clear example of temptation, deception is also involved. Let's not forget that Jesus was human, he was very hungry, and how do we act/feel when we are very hungry? Probably more like Esau who sold his first born birthright for a bowl of stew (Gen. 25: 30-34). Satan sees and knows our weak spots, and he will use that to deceive and skew our interpretation of the situation. So even though Jesus was fully man and was tempted, he was also fully God in a mans body ... choosing to follow Gods will instead of his own.

However, just as Jesus used scripture against the devil, the devil showcases that he too knows scripture. Which in my opinion, plays into a lot of his success into his predictable tactics. Satan did not want Jesus to follow Gods will, and another example is when Peter reprimands Jesus for predicting his death. And even though Peter did not recognize at the time what he was doing, Jesus did. "Jesus turned around and looked at his disciples, then reprimanded Peter. 'Get away from me Satan!' he said. ' You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God's," (Mark 8:33, NLT). This scripture in Mark, and the Scripture in Matthew, are tied together in the sense that Satan continued to tempt Jesus to not follow Gods will. Now, not to say that all temptation and deception is the same, it's not. The enemy can tempt, deceive, and accuse you of not having the strength that God has placed in you. And I have very much fell victim to that lie.

"When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you."
- John 14:20, NLT

Mine and your strength comes from and is displayed in Christ Jesus. The same strength Jesus showcased through his ministry, but definitely in the olive grove of Gethsemane. I love chapter 26 of Matthew because it shows the contrasting, yet simultaneous, way one can experience suffering and strength. Before his arrest, Jesus and his disciples went to the garden; here Jesus showed the very real and human side to him. "My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me" ... "He went on a little farther and bowed his face to the ground, praying 'My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken from me. Yet I want your will to be done and not mine'" (Matt. 26:38-39, NLT). He prayed this prayer 3 times. In the midst of his grief and anxiety, Jesus chose to do Gods will. He is the perfect example of being both venerable and strong during the uncomfortable. And it was all for us. So we to could experience his love, forgiveness, and strength.

Further, Jesus told his disciples in advance of a promise to come. "And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn't looking for him and doesn't recognize him. But you know him because he lives with you now and later will be in you" (John 14: 16-17, NLT). And that is a truth that even the enemy cannot refute or take away from us. Christs death and resurrection fulfilled a promise that cannot be broken. His Holy Spirit, who advocates for us, is not only living with us and in us .. he is an advocate who leads, prays for, and provides strength. So, no matter your circumstances, no matter how hard the enemy tries to whisper lies to you... telling you that you're not strong. Rest assure that you are. What is truth? The truth is that you are more than strong enough to do the uncomfortable, because Christ lives and works inside of you. Providing strength even when you feel weak.

What Is Truth?

  • Jesus knows what its like to be tempted into believing a lie that you're not strong enough to do the uncomfortable.

  • Christ displayed and advocated that you can be both vulnerable and strong.

  • You are never alone, for you have the Holy Spirit who leads into all truth.

  • You are more than capable in having the strength to do the uncomfortable.

Todays Scripture: Matthew 4:3-4, Matthew 26:36-46, Genesis 25:30-34, Mark 8:31-33, John 14:15-31, NLT.