40 Days of Purpose

Thursday, Day 32

photo by Ted Wilcox

In Matthew 16:21-28, Jesus uses words like suffering and death and makes references to raising from the dead.

The disciples and followers of Jesus had no idea what was coming. The concept of God dying was unfathomable.

Since God’s plan didn’t add up in Peter’s mind, he spoke out against it.

Difficulty, sacrifice, discomfort, pain; these are not words that sell others on following Jesus. And like Peter, I often do my best to convince God that the suffering is not just a bad idea, but altogether unnecessary.

“Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord! This shall never happen to You.”
But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”

Jesus doesn’t just rebuke Satan. He also draws Peter’s eyes, and mine, back to the bigger picture, albeit counterintuitive and uncomfortable.

I don’t like leaving the safety of my Christian box. But that’s exactly what Jesus requires.

Then Jesus told His disciples, “If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come with His angels in the glory of His Father, and then He will repay each person according to what he has done. Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”

Sacrifice. It’s part of the Christian life. Our Lord sacrificed everything for us.

Consider writing a statement of trust in the comments below. I'll go first:

Jesus, I may not understand my circumstances but I will trust You and obey even when it is difficult.

  1. Previous Day
  2. Next Day