When John McCain’s plane was shot down during the Vietnamese war, he broke both arms and a leg. Even though tortured for five years, he refused early release not wanting to leave his comrades behind. He endured by seeing in his mind the benefit of his suffering. In a far more intense way, our Lord endured suffering by envisioning the profound outcome. We read in Luke CH. 22, “I have been very eager to eat this Passover meal with you before my suffering.” Jesus said this despite knowing he was about to suffer excruciating pain. Before dying, he instituted the New Covenant. That agreement makes possible eternal salvation for all who accept his suffering as payment for their sins. In instituting this, he took bread and said, ‘This is my body, which is given for you. Do this to remember me.” After supper he took a cup of wine and said, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people–an agreement confirmed with my blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you.” Jesus set in order the New Covenant, then endured great pain by looking beyond the agony to see its outcome.  Like Jesus, we can better endure trouble when we look beyond the pain to envision its benefits.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More

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