There Jesus was our substitute    2 Corinthians 5:21

When we bear the cross we accept the sufferings of Christ with dignity. We accept the cross as a symbol of suffering for the honour & glory of God. We deny ourselves and take up the cross and follow Him. We accept suffering as a Christian which God has allowed in our lives for a purpose. All Christians will suffer 2 Timothy 3:12

2 Corinthians 1:5 Just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows'  Hebrews 12:2 'Jesus the author & perfecter of our faith who for the joy set before Him endured the cross'

Willing to be misunderstood

Jesus was not allowed to explain everything to His disciples  John 16:12

They did not know why He let  wicked men crucify Him. He could not explain to them

John 5:44 'How can you believe, if you make no effort to obtain the praise from the only God?' Jesus was willing to be treated like a fool. Adorned with a purple robe. Luke 23:11, Crown of thorns. Mocked to belittle Him

Paul was willing to be misunderstood for the sake of the cross:

1 Corinthians 2:2 'I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ & Him crucified'

Apparently a foolish message that made no sense. Stumbling block to Jews & foolishness to Gentiles gave ammunition to ridicule the One sent to save.

State the facts of what God did & leave it to the Holy Spirit to apply it.

Receiving Jesus Christ as Lord & Saviour will make no sense to family & friends. Heathen will laugh. We must accept that our message of the cross will provoke ridicule.

We are relying on God to do His work in reaching the elect He has chosen.

What God allows us to go through will make no sense to others.

Bearing the cross: Jesus scorned the shame. A most painful death.  Pain of rejection is also ours. Physical, loss of health. Emotional mental anguish, nervous condition.

Financial  Living by faith. Income unknown. Learning to live with little.

Loss of esteem - appear to be foolish by trusting the invisible God  & venturing into the unknown. No apparent reward for our faithfulness. God may hide His face from us : The midnight of the soul. May last a long time. Others treat us with contempt.

Quantity of Pain: No hint that end of suffering is near 1 Peter 4:12-13

Bearing of the Cross : Bought with a price 1 Corinthians 6:19 -20. Totally owned by God. Right to do as He pleases. Need Not to be related to what we have done.

1 Peter 3:17 'It is better if it is God’s will to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.' Happened to Joseph for doing what was right. Result of disobeying God 1 Peter 4:15 Cross God’s way to restore us

Teleological cause. God’s design in working out his purpose in us. 1 Peter 4:14 'If you are insulted because of the name of Christ you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory & of God rests on you.'

Purpose: Make us like Jesus  What we shall be Romans 8:30. Increase our anointing.

1 Peter 1:7. Enable us to cope with success. Suffer with dignity. See us as we are Job 1:1

Job misunderstood. Saw himself as self righteous. Job 42:6 Stops us judging others.

Bearing the Cross with dignity: Not complaining. 1 Corinthians 10:10. Grumbling unfit for fresh anointing.. Accept God’s ordering of life. Refuse to defend yourself. Leave it to God

Romans 12:19 Refuse to blame God. God allows sickness, persecution, injustice, delayed vindication. Anger does not result in God completing what he has begun  James 1:20.

God alone knows all. Count the trial a thing of joy James 1:2; 1 Peter 4:13. Greater usefulness through suffering. Keep pain personal. You & God only know.

Wait on God to step in Isaiah 64:4; 1 Corinthians 4:5; Isaiah 25:9

Conclusion: The Greater the cross the greater the anointing. 1 Peter 4:14 Pray for those opposed to you. Luke 6:35. Trials usually come to an end. The reward is worth waiting for.. Hold on.


God is holy Leviticus 11:44 Isaiah saw the holiness of God Holy 3x Most holy Isaiah 6:1

Unlike any other. Isaiah 40:25 To whom will you compare Me? Or who is My equal? Says the Holy One of Israel.  Man created in God’s image but defaced by sin.

God is light  1 John 1:5 He lives in unapproachable light whom no one has seen or can see 1 Timothy 6:16

Saul saw a light from heaven 'brighter than the sun blazing around me'. John saw a vision of Jesus. Revelation 1:16 'His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance'

In God there is no darkness at all 1 John 1:5.

John 3:19 'Light had come into the world, but men loved darkness because their deeds were evil.' Satan is called the prince of darkness Ephesians 6:12,

Hell is darkness Matthew 8:12. We were in darkness  Acts 26:18

God is truth. Deuteronomy 32:4  God cannot lie Hebrews 6:18. Titus 1:2 Jesus said 'I am the truth'.

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth John 14:17. God is faithful. He keeps His word Psalm 91:4

He can always be trusted 1 Corinthians 1:9

God hates sin Habakkuk 1:13  The Decalogue reveals what is acceptable to God. His standard of living.

God will not clear the guilty Exodus 34:7 Sin must be punished. A substitute is needed 2 Corinthians 5:21

Jesus mirrors God. He that has seen Me has seen the Father. He showed God’s holiness in His deeds Hebrews 4:15. He never sinned 1 Peter 2:22 He always pleased the Father John 12:49

His disciples are called to Holiness Hebrews 12:14 It means clean & pure

Without Christ, we are sinful  Romans 3:10-18. The heart is deceitful Jeremiah 17:9. We are called to be holy. 2 Timothy 1:9 and are saved through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit 2 Thessalonians 2:13

Being made holy is a process. All believers in Jesus are sanctified Hebrews 2:11

We are to be holy as He is holy. 1 Peter 1:14; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4

Honesty Ephesians 4:28 We are all liars Psalm 58:3. Telling the truth indicates God at work.

Be at peace with all men  Hebrews 12:14. Devoid of bitterness. Totally forgive others. Hide what they have done. Keep on forgiving Genesis 50:20-21

Tongue under control James 3  No judging. Matthew 7:1-2  Avoid legalism. Clean speech Ephesians 5:4. Avoid careless talk  Matthew 12:36

Walk in the Light 1 John 1:7. Open & listening & obeying the Holy Spirit. Confess sins, remain obedient to God, if in doubt seek His will. Philippians 3:15

John Newton: I am not what I ought to be. I am not what I want to be. I am not what I hope to be. But praise God I am not what I used to be.