“You are to give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).

Did you catch that? What’s Jesus saving His people from? Their sins; not necessarily the effects of them here on earth. I feel quite uneasy when I hear anyone say the Christian life will be easy. Jesus never promised that. “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Jesus has ultimately overcome, but as long as I’m in this world, I’m not immune to suffering. “If we are God’s children, we will get the blessings God has for His people. He will give us all that He has given Christ. But we must suffer like Christ suffered. Then we will be able to share His glory” (Romans 8:17). It seems suffering is the prequel to our future.

“But you must resist the devil and stay strong in your faith. You know that all over the world the Lord’s followers are suffering just as you are. But God shows undeserved kindness to everyone. That’s why He appointed Christ Jesus to choose you to share in His eternal glory. You will suffer for a while, but God will make you complete, steady, strong, and firm” (1 Peter 5:9-10). I can see from these verses that as Christians, we’re not on our own. God is there to strengthen us, like the angel strengthened Jesus before His arrest. You can call on the name of Jesus for strength in your suffering. “Father, I don’t ask You to take My followers out of the world, but keep them safe from the evil one” (John 17:15). Jesus doesn’t want the sufferings we go through in this world to damage us; He wants us protected, until that amazing day when we’re taken to be with Him. “After I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back. Then I will take you with Me, so that you can be where I am” (John 14:3). Jesus is preparing for us to have a home in heaven – somewhere that’s not just better than this life, but perfection itself! He’ll save His people from their sins.


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