The Bible says in Hebrews 11:1, “…faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” It is very difficult to walk and live a life of faith, especially when any evidence of answered prayer does not seem to be on the horizon. You pray, pour out your heart before the Lord, and must resolve to take Him at His Word and believe by faith that He hears you.
It was Thomas Jefferson who said, “When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.” The same thing is true in the Christian life. I think some people who begin on the Christian path eventually just give up because it’s too hard. You’re faced with too many trials, too many obstacles, and so many persecutors that eventually you just decide it’s easier to take the easy road. With the easy road, you do not have to offend anyone, rock the boat, ruffle anyone’s feathers, be alone, and your persecutors and those who oppose you leave you alone! Who wouldn’t want that fancy-free road if it weren’t for one thing?
Is that the road Jesus Christ chose to take? No.
When it was time for Him to go to the cross, Jesus said to His Father in Matthew 26:39, “…O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me: nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt.” Jesus didn’t necessarily want to go to the cross, but He was willing to do it for the sins of all mankind, and because it was His Father’s will. Undeserving though humanity was, and bold in their lawlessness to the very last even as Christ was being nailed to the tree, Jesus did it because of His unfailing love, which He showed the world in demonstration on the cross (I John 3:18).
The Lord Jesus did not give His disciples an easy road either, and God does not give His followers today an easy road. It is a narrow and difficult road that not many people choose to walk. Matthew 7:13-14 says, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in there at: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”
It is easy to get discouraged and hopeless and have the feeling that you’ve been abandoned by God. Even Jesus, as He was hanging on the cross, cried out to His Father and said, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46) However, it was through the work of the cross that Jesus was redeeming sinners back unto His Father.
Through the suffering and death of Christ, Jesus made way for us to be saved from the wrath of God due our sins. It was not easy for Him to do this, but He did it. He took up His cross and did His Father’s will. Should we, as His followers, not do the same? Wasn’t it Jesus who said in John 20:21 “As My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you.” Wasn’t it His disciples who were all martyrs but one?
A crossless Gospel is no Gospel at all. Jesus didn’t deny His cross and take up Himself and do His own will, but rather denied Himself and took up His cross and followed His Father’s will. Jesus said in Luke 9:23 “…If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.”
If we are to be like Christ, we must do the same. So, please don’t despair, to despair is to turn your back on God and not believe that His promises are true or that He will hear your prayers. If we are going to walk by faith and not by sight, we are going to have to close our eyes to reason and trust Him. (Proverbs 3:5-6) So, if you’re at the end of your rope, tie a knot and hold on Christ and His Word. He and He alone is the only One who will never let you down.