Life is tough. We are born with many needs and an inability to really make ourselves understood.
As a child, we are learning about boundaries we don’t want, making mistakes and receiving many reprimands.
As teenagers, we are in a tough transition period from child to adult. We still have many childish ways, but also many confusing adult emotions. Communication is often difficult in our teen years, we find it hard to be understood, and there are too many rules at home.
When we were young adults, starting to work, we began to face the reality of an unkind world, learning the sometimes shocking reality of having to pay for everything and having to prioritize spending. We had to face the frustration of no longer being able to do as we pleased.
The midlife years are often called the crunch years or grind years. This is the point where many divorces happen. Dreams are not becoming realities, life seems to be going by very quickly, we may begin to wonder if we are missing something, the children are growing up and leaving home, and we’re worrying about how or if they are going to make it.
As old age comes, it becomes increasingly difficult to do a lot of the things that were possible to do in a younger body. Sickness becomes more serious, healing takes much longer; the body is gradually dying…
It’s not a pretty sight – life IS tough…
This all sounds pretty dismal, doesn’t it? Yet we humans are not the only ones who know what it is like to live on this planet. God knows firsthand what we are going through. God the Son gave up His riches in glory to dwell among us. He started out the same way we did, as the baby Jesus.
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6) The mighty God the Son let Himself be born as a helpless baby here on Earth!
Only He wasn’t born in a hospital or even in a house. We like to see cute pictures of a baby, born in a sparkling clean building with fresh, clean straw all around and well-groomed animals standing at a respectable distance, and a happy, handsome Mom and Dad standing nearby. But the fact is that Jesus was born in a smelly old barn out behind the town of Bethlehem to a very tired and worn-out couple who had no other place to go. You talk about tough!
Jesus had a normal childhood, just like the rest of us. He was fully human, facing all the same trials we face and probably more, yet He did not sin. 1Pet.2:22 says “Who committed no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:”
As a young man, Jesus worked for a living, just as we do. He was a tradesman , a carpenter, according to Mk.6:3.
One of the catch-phrases of the modern world is “job-security”, meaning that somehow you are going to work and get paid whether there is work or not.
Jesus’ only job-security was the quality of His work attracting more customers. We can be sure that Jesus worked hard and only produced the best. You might be tempted to think, “Well, that was easy for Him, because He is God!” Yes, the Bible says that He was fully God and fully man, but also that He gave up all His power during the time He was fully man. He had to work at least as hard as the next man. He probably worked considerably harder, because he did not sin and He would not have cut any corners or done shoddy work, ever.
When Jesus was in His early thirties, He entered the missions field. He went out to begin His ministry without any backing other than His trust (faith) in God the Father.
We find it tough when we don’t know how we’re going to make a car payment on time, and we may discuss the problem at the supper table, or right before we go to bed at night in our nice warm house. Jesus had nothing.
Luke 9:58 says, “And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests: but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.” Yet He did not sin.
Jesus was tempted in every way the same as us in His mortal body, yet He did not sin. Heb 4:15 says “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”
After leading a sin-free life, doing only good, teaching only the truth, Jesus received the just payment for…our sin…
“Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?
For he grew up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray: we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid in him the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
He was taken from prison and from judgement: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong: because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” Isaiah 53.
His life was tough!
Imagine…Here was a man who did no sin, yet He was dragged before a tyrant’s court on trumped up charges, mocked, whipped, beaten beyond recognition, and made to carry the tool of His death up a hill to where He was nailed to it and raised up in the hot sun by the nails in His hands and feet. Never once did He complain or try to defend Himself…and when He was near death and in excruciating agony, He said, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” Lk. 23:34 (Is life tough?)
Then He who is holy bore the full, filthy, unholy weight of all the sin of the whole world, including ours, on His shoulders, totally alone , because God the Father, perfect in holiness, who cannot look on sin, had turned His back. (Mk.15:34 – Jesus said, “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?”) 2Cor.5:21 says that God made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Did we deserve this?
Is life tough?
Yes, life is tough, but Jesus really understands. He knows exactly what we’re going through, because He experienced life as a human. He knows what it is like to be human.
Jesus knows what it is like to be human and he wants to walk with us through this life. It is not His will that we should try to make it on our own. He said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burdon is light.” Matt. 11:28-30
Can you see?
Can you begin to understand?
Here is a Man who is the Son of God, who lived as we lived, who was tempted in every way as we are, who did no sin, as we do, and who was abused almost beyond imagining by us, and yet He wants us to take His yoke upon us, so that He can share our load and gently teach and guide us!
Is life tough?
Is Jesus Christ your Saviour? Have you put your trust in Him?
Maybe we have the wrong perspective.
Is life tough? Yes, this life is tough, but this life was very tough for Jesus – tougher than anything we can imagine. We will struggle in this life from the time we are born until the time we die, or are taken up, but we do not have to do it alone. We have a Friend who understands, the Lord Jesus Christ, who has walked all the way in our place, who has paid the price for us, and who is offering to walk with us now. We need ONLY to put our faith in Him, to believe in who He says He is and in what He has done for us. He has done everything for us!
As we get long in years, we should rejoice, because the day is soon coming when we’ll meet our wonderful Saviour face to face. Then, as He says in Revelations 7:16,17, “They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.”
And in Revelations 21:3&4 He says, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” Amen?
Amen, come Lord Jesus.