Isn’t it weird how since the 2020 drama begun up to this day, most if not all messages were about encouragement? I’m now wondering how much more encouragement do we need in order to feel at peace, happy, joyfully, or strengthened? Well, I’m asking you this so that you ask yourself as well all of those questions in order to find the right encouragement that actually works, hopefully once and for all, or that would always work in times most needed. Jesus is the only encouragement we need, but one more question, how?.
From the title, you can tell already that this is another word of encouragement type of post, but not the typical one. This is more of a challenging one rather than a motivational one but if you’re inspired in the process, praise God for that too.
There’s a myth out there that says that when Jesus said to carry your cross(Kwikorera umusaraba) he meant carrying all your troubles, but that’s a myth like I mentioned already. But what does he really mean? if our cross to carry is not the cares of this damned world? you might ask me, Bob, not the financial problems? Nor relationship struggles? Not even our families’ problems? or many others that come to mind? Well, nope!
The cross that we need to carry is self, which can be translated to our sinful nature. Now, if Jesus told us to carry our sinful nature in order to follow him you might ask yourself, what about those burdens of my family, my relationships, my finances, and so on! Well, those are the cares mentioned in 1 Peter 5:6 and more specifically verse 7:
1 Peter 5:6-7 – KJV
6. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
7. Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
Those shouldn’t take much of our time at least by worrying about them simply because Jesus doesn’t neglect that they are out there for sure and they burden us but the problem rather is our attitude towards them. The word ‘cast’ can also mean throw or bring from place A to place B, which means when we cast all those cares they don’t remain with us. Let us learn to let go easily otherwise we lie when we say that we cast our cares to Jesus if we’re still helping him carry them every day even after we finished praying about them and doing what we can do to solve them on our own, we need to cast and let go for him to carry them for us, not us helping him carry them together with him as if he needs our help with that.
We tend to compare our cares with our fragile mind and capabilities like what those ten spies did when they saw the giants in Canaan, and we forget to compare our cares with God in faith like the remaining two spies who were with them all along but instead compared those giants they had met in Canaan to God who separated a whole sea for them to pass through and did much more in the past for them.
Now back to the point of this post, so how do we carry the actual cross? It is simple as well, but it requires a lot of faith. We first need to believe wholeheartedly in Jesus Christ and what he did for us on the cross 2 millenniums ago and only after that we make a firm decision to let go of self which means stop defending your sinful nature’s desires and start defending the one you believe in and his desires, then trust and obey his commands in order to live a new life in him where he’s and will always be your only guide even over your heart desires. Romans 6 from verse 1 portrays it better than I could possibly try:
Romans 6:1-8 – KJV
1. What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
2. God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
3. Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4. Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so, we also should walk in newness of life.
5. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
6. Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
7. For he that is dead is freed from sin.
8. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:
This does not mean we stop sinning all of a sudden, but it means that we stop doing it intentionally. Though we might fall into temptation, we’ll do our best with the help of Jesus in the form of the Holy Ghost living in us not do it again, and we’ll get over all our addictions then we’ll die to self but remember this is a daily process, like Jesus always did when he was still on this earth.
There’s a saying in french that says, ‘Une faute avouée est à moitié pardonnée!’
meaning ‘a confessed fault is halfway forgiven’
If we confess all of our sins he’s faithful and just to forgive us. As long as we’re sincere and the only role we play is choosing this path if we really want to have peace that surpasses all understanding and that can’t be found in any other thing else in this world, not in seeing our problems(cares) getting solved, be financial problems or family problems, you name it, but only in Jesus Christ, then we’ll be encouraged for good and we’ll start now encouraging others after us.
If there’s one thing to remember from this long post, is simply to know what to truly carry for Jesus which is our desire not to sin, and what to cast to Jesus is all the cares of this sinful world.
Lastly, Jesus prayed a whole lot when he was on this earth, he didn’t go to other smart people for more encouragement or for motivational speeches. When he was low he always went on his knees to ask his father who gives the right encouragement in our case like Hebrews1:1 says, we need to go to him as well as he’s the word of God and on our knees asking for his spirit always for help. If Jesus prayed that much how much more do we need to pray in these hard times? Let us not be like the people in their last days in Noah’s time when God said in Genesis 6:3 that his spirit shall not always strive with man… but instead let’s get ready for the soon coming of his Son Jesus Christ as our only hope for this short-lived life.
Philippians 4:6 NIV
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
I wish you all a joyful & happy life here on earth in Jesus Christ and another happier and eternal one in heaven!
PS: JOY= Jesus, Others then You(Be JOY)
Your beloved brother in Christ,
Robert Mugisha aka Bob!