“In Spite Of”

A pesar de is the Spanish equivalent of the above title.  That is informative because pesar translates as weight or sorrow. So we might say, whatever the sorrow or burden, we will labor on and overcome despite any obstacles.  In this secular life there will be struggles, roadblocks and reversals.  Through experience mankind has learned to cope with most of the physical, mental and emotional problems.  How one confronts, accepts and overcomes them can make a tremendous difference in one’s lifestyle.  Of course, it is much easier to write or talk about it than to put it into practice.

In the spiritual walk there are also many “in spite of” moments.  Surely Noah endured lots of mockery as he struggled to build a huge ark (Gen 6:13-22).  Yet he persevered and saved his family from the great flood (1 Pe 3:20).  Moses certainly had his trials during the desert wandering for 40 years (Nu16:1-3).  Two of his many detractors were his own brother and sister (Nu 11:1) (Nu 12:1-2).  Yet he finished the mission God gave him and saw the promised land (Deu 34:4 & 10-12).  Joseph kept his faith in spite of the unfair and evil treatment by his brothers, (Gen 37:26-28) the lies about him by Potiphar’s wife (Gen 39:12-18) and the forgotten promise to help him by a cellmate (Gen 40:14-15).  This resolve and God’s help enabled him to become second in command in Egypt and to save his family’s lives (Gen 45:4-7).

In spite of being stoned, beaten, imprisoned, hungry, thirsty, and in danger, the Apostle Paul could say, “ I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (1 Tim 4:7).  The prime example of persevering “in spite of” everything is our Lord Jesus Christ.  He was, “…despised and rejected,” (Isa 53:3-5) pierced and crushed for our sins and betrayed by one of his own apostles (Mt 10:4) (Mk 3:19) and misunderstood by the others (Lk 9: 46-48).  He was hated and killed by the leaders of his country (Acts 2:23, 36). Yet He was resurrected and returned to His heavenly home to set at the right hand of His Father (Mt 26:64) (Mk 16:19).

Christians will have their “in spite of” times as we live this mortal life, “…Everyone who will try to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Tim 3:12) (1 Th 3:4) (Jo 15:20).  Those who endure and overcome will receive a crown of life and glory that will last forever
 (1 Co 9:25) (Jas 1:12) (1 Pe 5:4).

-Jim Bailey