Looking unto Jesus eases sorrow and suffering

Lunminthang Haokip
WHAT DO WE LOOK FOR ? : Different people look for different things. World class actors and actresses hone their talents, make faces before the camera to the best of their grimaces, put their emotions on switch-on/switch off mode in turns, and look for the Oscar. Football fans anxiously wait for over-the-top soccer tourneys and Championship Cups where they can watch their fave stars like CR7 or Messi hit the back of the net in style as they ideally imagine. The fancied players, in turn, look for a FIFA Ballon’dOr (Golden Ball) to feather their caps further. The politico is on the look-out for vexed societal issues where he can ‘fish in troubled waters’ and increase the percentage of his vote-worthiness. The unemployed youth keep an eye on ads and opportunities to get a job that can lift up his stocks and place him on equal footing with his betters. The Bible grad, fresh from the Seminary, hunts for a salaried life-partner who can come to his rescue when his chips are down. In the early 1970s, we Intermediate students in Shillong, yearned for Fetes where we could give vent to our vile youthful cravings. A bum-chum of mine, in the hope of winning a bottle of booze in the next Fete, practiced ‘Bottle Fishing’ the whole day ! We bunked classes but attended College in full strength in the day Post-Matric Scho was disbursed. In short, we were good from far but far from good. Thinking back, I was not even a ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing: I was a wolf which was not bothered to put on a sheep’s clothing.
GOD IS OUR EXCEEDING GREAT REWARD : Hebrews 12:2, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” In the preceding chapter, the great deeds of the Heroes of faith were listed down and showcased. Abraham looked unto God and ignored the gifts of the king of Sodom (Genesis Ch. 14). Jehovah rewarded him with a rare unique promise, “Fear not Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward (Genesis 15:1).” Throughout the Old Testament history, we read that the LORD kept his promise and shielded the descendants of Abraham. They were blessed differently. Did the father of faith lack anything because he rejected the spoils of Sodom ? Not at all. God was his ‘exceeding great reward.’ Faithful servants of God shouldn’t crib over the worldly privileges they miss. They should never crave for praise and reward from the faithless folks of this perverse world. A worker who serves God withou salary will be richly blessed. God is his reward. The Almighty God saw to it that Abraham’s descendants lacked nothing, Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Faith is like a blank cheque. You can stretch it and encash. Having faith is like possessing an inexhaustible treasure.
WE ARE LOOKING AT THE RISEN CHRIST: We are no more looking at the infant Jesus. He grew up and conquered the world. John 16:33, “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” When Jesus was born, the people of that generation looked for a Saviour, the Messiah. Now we are looking at Christ who triumphed over sin and death, and ‘sits at the right side of the throne of God.’ Any sinner who has repented, confessed his or her sins, and received forgiveness of God has proximity to the Son of God by faith. Hebrews 10:12, “But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God.” Even in worldly affairs, a ‘right hand man of a Cabinet Minister’ or a Legislator has a considerable clout of influence. Just imagine how much more powerful the ‘Right Hand Man’ of the Creator of heaven and earth would be ? What our Lord says or desires is as good as done. To have our voice heard, all we need to do is to be in the ‘right side’ of the Son of God. Heb. 10:13 says, “From henceforth till His enemies be made His footstool.”
(To be contd)