For three weeks, I have shared stories and experiences, heartbreak, life lessons, and passages of Scripture to connect my physical health and spiritual well-being. Allowing myself to be vulnerable and transparent has not been easy, but I think there is an opportunity to be empowered and encouraged. Feeling emotional from exposing weaknesses for the honor and glory of God, I remind myself of Christianity’s great mystery: Jesus’ humanity and divinity. He is fully human and fully God.
So Jesus himself became like them and had the same experiences they have. Jesus did this so that, by dying, he could destroy the one who has the power of death—the devil. Jesus became like these people and died so that he could free them. They were like slaves all their lives because of their fear of death. Clearly, it is not angels that Jesus helps. He helps the people who are from Abraham. For this reason, Jesus had to be made like us in every way. He became like people so that he could be their merciful and faithful high priest in service to God. Then he could bring forgiveness for the people’s sins. And now he can help those who are tempted. He is able to help because he himself suffered and was tempted. ~ Hebrews 2:14-18 (Easy-to-Read Version)
The author of Hebrews reminds readers that Jesus became like them (human) so he could have the same experiences, feel the same emotions, and suffer. In every possible way, Jesus was like you and me. He had feelings, stress, disappointments, celebrations, and faced Satan’s temptations. There is nothing I have experienced (or will experience in the future) that Jesus has not known – but his resurrection conquered death and gives eternal life to all believers. Amen!
My suffering and struggles are bearable because Jesus is the ultimate example of resilience. He faced temptation, heartache and struggle head on. Jesus never exhibited powerlessness or allowed Satan to overwhelm Him.
Jesus was connected, engaged, and had genuine support from family and friends on earth and has an intimate relationship with his Heavenly Father. God desires the same kind of relationship with me and encourages me to build a ‘tribe’ of support here on earth to face difficult times and tempting situations.
We have all these great people around us as examples. Their lives tell us what faith means. So we, too, should run the race that is before us and never quit. We should remove from our lives anything that would slow us down and the sin that so often makes us fall. We must never stop looking to Jesus. He is the leader of our faith, and he is the one who makes our faith complete. He suffered death on a cross. But he accepted the shame of the cross as if it were nothing because of the joy he could see waiting for him. And now he is sitting at the right side of God’s throne. Think about Jesus. He patiently endured the angry insults that sinful people were shouting at him. Think about him so that you won’t get discouraged and stop trying. ~ Hebrews 12:1-3 (ERV)
Oh, sweet friend, did you hear that? Listen to these words again and open the ears and eyes of your heart:
GREAT PEOPLE AROUND US AS EXAMPLES // If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: I’d rather have four quarters than 100 pennies. Build your tribe with genuine, authentic, honest people who love you and support you. Surround yourself with people whose lives are a shining example of Jesus Christ, who lift you up instead of tear you down. If they have a heart for God, befriend them!
RUN THE RACE AND DON’T QUIT // My race is unique to me and your race is unique to you – whatever your journey looks like, run like hell and don’t stop trying!
REMOVE ANYTHING THAT MAKES YOU SIN // I’m beginning to sound like a broken record but my temptation trigger is food. It’s a slippery slope because I lack self-control, discipline, and portion restraints. I am learning to say no and remove myself from situations that could lead to overeating.
THINK ABOUT JESUS // Jesus was and is and is to come. He existed before the world was created. He made himself human to experience struggles, stress, and demands of life on earth. Because of His great love, He suffered and accepted the sins of the world so I could have eternal life. To me, Palm Sunday, is not a celebration of Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey as if it were a Fourth of July parade. The same people who waved palm branches and yelled “Hosanna!” were the same people who, four days later, yelled “Crucify him!” But Jesus loved them anyway. Not only did He love them, but He forgave their sins and died so they might realize eternal life is available if they believe in Him.
If Jesus, who is fully human and fully divine, can endure the angry insults and hateful actions of others, so can I.
Despite the naysayers, I will improve my health, exercise regularly, and eat smart.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE in your struggles.
Jesus exemplified discipline and endurance and encourages you to have dedication towards physical health and spiritual well-being goals.