How Did Jesus Do It?

Nancy Hatcher, Volunteer Writer, South Barrington  | April 4, 2024

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. 
Romans 5:3-5

How many of you remember where you were standing when you got horrific news? Always the early bird, I stood near the school fence after lunch when some boys pushed in front of me, “Did you hear?” My friend screamed, “Someone shot President Kennedy. He’s dead!”

“No, he’s not—my mom would have told me.”  

I’ve blocked the bedlam that ensued that day. We found out later that the moms who watched the soap opera As the World Turns were the first in our nation to find out that our beloved President had died. I remember my tight-knit neighborhood’s anguish, all of us suffering simultaneously.

I look at today’s verse and just want to cross the word sufferings out of my Bible. But Paul writes about this because he desires us to know that suffering will produce perseverance, character, and hope. I sarcastically think, yes, Paul, I do want my character to improve, but no suffering, please!.

After that initial thought, I spent a few minutes picturing Jesus. From an early age, Jesus knew about His mission from God to save sinful me and the rest of the world. 

Yes, He knew He would be hated, yet He did not run away from this knowledge that He would suffer— like I tend to. He moved forward in His ministry of healing, teaching, and loving. 

How did He manage this when His heart was broken? 

I flip the pages in my Bible to when Jesus found out about his cousin, John the Baptist’s, beheading. These sentences jump off the page; Matthew 14:13 states that Jesus got in a boat and paddled to a solitary place to be alone with his Heavenly Father. But soon after landing on shore, He began to heal people.  

And then the disciples interrupted, wondering how in the world Jesus would feed the crowd following them all.  You know what happened: a miracle. Jesus made supper for a crowd of 5,000 with only a tiny amount of fish and bread!

How did Jesus accomplish this? First, He retreated to his Father, gathering strength, comfort, and wisdom, and then moved along in his ministry with God. We need to imitate Jesus when suffering comes our way.

Not to burst any bubbles here, but our lives are unlike Hallmark, where the good girls or guys always win. Many of us over the age of three have experienced physical pain, mental anguish, and deep grief. But for a Christ follower, the Holy Spirit goes with us, the Bible comforts us, and for the vast majority of us, our friends and church family embrace us and pray with us.

Next Steps

  • Meditate on Matthew 14:12-21
  • How will you grow closer and closer to God?