Through the ages, war has waged between good and evil. This cosmic controversy has the attention of the entire universe because the results determine life or death for earth’s inhabitants. The world and its demonic system measure the hours of each day as of immense import compared to the lackadaisical approach of most people. Even nature groans under the burden of sin awaiting the coming of a new earth. But the good news is that the kingdom of God exists today for all people. The bitter cup of sorrows is only a temporary interruption for those whose mind is on Christ.
The mother of James and John came to Jesus asking for her two sons to sit on His right and left in His expected earthly kingdom. “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said to them. “Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?” “We can,” they answered. Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant.” Instead of the right and left positions of honor, they regarded the greater recognition to be the first and last to die for their devotion to Jesus. James, the older of the two, died impaled by a sword on the temple steps. John was the last to die — a natural death on the Isle of Patmos. Both endured the cost of drinking the cup.
Paul regarded worldly achievements as garbage compared to the honor of knowing Jesus. Stoning, imprisonment, and “being in need” Paul considered mere inconveniences for the privilege of suffering for Christ.
The cup our Father offered Jesus before they created the earth is the same cup He offers you and me. We must drink the cup of sorrow, adversity, and loss. Whatever the enemy throws at us to dislodge our grip on Jesus will never succeed as long as we are under the Good Shepherd’s watch. If we maintain our focus on Christ alone, no extent of abuse can withdraw or lessen our resolve.