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"Walking in Glory on the Way to Suffering

In life, it sometimes seems as if we are wandering in circles. There is frustration due to bad health, loss of a job, an empty bank account, broken relationships … the list goes on. We want to ask God "How much longer?” Sometimes we feel forsaken. Where is God when it hurts? As I know people whose pain far exceeds my own, though, I was surprised by its effects. My anger over my pain has melted mostly for one reason: I have come to know God more. He has given me love, joy, and goodness. He uses pain to humble me and to show what's in my heart. It leaves me with a solid faith. God has been there from the beginning when it hurts. He transforms the pain to teach and strengthen us.

The gospel today gives meaning, direction and hope to everything we suffer and struggle within our lives. I believe that the Triumphal Entry is essential in God's plan as we all look at that again this week. Jesus' followers zealously honored Him as He entered Jerusalem a few days before His crucifixion. The multitude rejoiced and praised God for the mighty works they had seen. They surrounded Him, calling out "Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord" (Luke 19:37-38). Their enthusiastic honor affected the people of Jerusalem. Within a few days Jesus was arrested, facing trial before Pilate. The people accused Him, they mocked Him, and finally He was sentenced to death though He was innocent (Luke 23). Where were all His followers? Jesus knew that this had happened for a purpose.

In these things, we learn lessons from our Lord for us to ponder. He is the Son of God, but He did not retaliate. He humbled Himself and became obedient even to the point of death (Phil. 2:7-8). He teaches us to behave, not to give in even under pressure, and to understand the difficult situations. He was hurt as He bled and suffered. But rejoicing and pain can coexist. It helps to remember that on our way to our destinations, the journey is important to God. At times we get dismayed. Even when our situation looks bleak, we can trust that God is leading us. We give glory to Him when we get there. We can rejoice because Christ is in us. Let's walk with Jesus along the road and seek to understand our Master.


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