“My dear friends, you will never see the tree of life aright unless you first look at the cross. . . . Thus, then, Jesus Christ hanging on the cross is the tree of life in its wintertime.”- Charles Spurgeon, The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Series (1911)
“Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest.”- Hebrews 3:1 (NIV)
Lysa TerKeurst concludes Chapter 3 of It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way as she suggests what would happen if we knew the full road ahead. She believes we’d probably stop halfway through and never choose to continue with God’s plan. Because, Ms. TerKeurst asserts, no human possesses the strength to withstand too much of God’s plan in advance. That’s why God reveals His plan daily. And why we must proceed slowly.
Therefore, we must fix our eyes on Jesus. To fix our eyes on Jesus, Lysa states, is to:
- close our eyes
- mark this moment as we declare our trust in God
- declare that God’s will be done, not ours
- stop fixating on the circumstances that rage around us
- quit trying to make sense of things that make no sense in the middle of our journey
- stop asking for knowledge too heavy for us to carry
In addition, God doesn’t want you to explain Him away. Instead, through the power of the Holy Spirit, He wants you to invite Him in. Also, don’t use disappointments as a reason to run away. Rather, use them to turn a different way.
In contrast, Satan wants to use our disappointment of hope deferred so that our:
- unmet expectations so consume us that our hearts just get sicker and sicker
- inner selves get more and more disillusioned with our circumstances, other people, and God
- pain intensifies to the point we lose sight of Jesus completely
Finally, the author notes, trees in wintertime only appear to be dead. In a similar way, as Jesus hung on the cross, a redemptive transformation was at work. So, you need Jesus – not answers. And His wisdom must function as the loudest voice in your life right now.
Today’s question: How do you view Jesus’ cross as the tree of life in its wintertime? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “When you live slow for a season”