God Knows…When My Life’s a Struggle – Part 1
A ninth-grader wrote a note to herself where she would see it every day: “Smile. Remember, everyone is fighting a hard battle.” Little things—even the smile of a friend—can help us face life’s struggles.
How goes your battle? On whose side are you? Are you winning? Do you need help? Do you have troubles at home? At school? Is it difficult to choose between right and wrong? There is someone who understands your situation perfectly; someone who has been through the very same things. This someone is Jesus.
Jesus grew up in Nazareth, about 65 miles (100 km) north of Jerusalem. Nazareth was built on a hillside halfway between the Sea of Galilee and the Mediterranean Sea. It was known as a wicked little city.
The Bible says that Jesus grew both in wisdom and in body, gaining favor with God and man (Luke 2:52). His mother taught him from the scrolls of the Old Testament prophets (Scrolls were the rolled-up parchment books used back then). Jesus also studied plants, animals, earth, sea, and sky.
Jesus lived in a poor, simple home, and experienced low-income living. He learned to help, and as soon as He was old enough, He worked in his father’s carpenter shop.
How Jesus Won
Jesus did not live a simple, easy life. Satan tried everything he could think of to make Him sin. His half-brothers, older sons of Joseph, hassled him. Some people whispered lies about Him and His unusual birth. His playmates called Him a coward when He refused to join them in doing wrong. They were impatient with His high ideals and called Him narrow minded.
How did Jesus keep calm, kind, patient, and pure through it all?
- By keeping His hands busy, helping around the house, doing what He knew was right (idle movements invite temptation)
- By keeping His body as healthy as possible
- By accepting the discipline of responsibility—learning to meet and conquer problems
- By filling His mind with God’s Word
- By enjoying and studying the beauty of nature
- By becoming acquainted with God through prayer
- By being constantly on guard to preserve His purity
- By singing psalms and heavenly songs, songs of praise and thanksgiving
- By thinking of others—being kind to the old man at the market, the lady whose brother died, the children playing tag, the neighbor’s dog, even the family donkey
- By answering every temptation with the Word of God, making it the foundation of His life and action
If Jesus had given in to Satan with an impatient word or look or gone along with any wrong doing, the plan for our return to Eden’s perfection would have failed. We would have been doomed. That is why Satan worked so hard against Jesus.
Satan did not prevail. The pure life of Jesus shows us that we can win life’s battles as well. The kind of life we live does not depend on where we live, how much money we earn, or how many things go in our favor. With God’s help, we can make the right choices in ANY situation.