When you feel abandoned and alone, when you feel like life is just not fair, consider how Jesus felt. He had poured his life into his friends. He loved them sacrificially. And he knew that when he needed them, they would desert him.

“But the time is coming—in fact, it is already here—when you will be scattered, each one going his own way, leaving me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me. I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world” (John 16:32-33, NLT).

Jesus gave us an example here. He could have felt totally abandoned as he went to the cross, totally alone and unjustly dishonored, forsaken, and rejected. And perhaps he did feel that way, but he chose to see past what he felt and still believe in his friends. I tend to say, “I don’t deserve this!” but if there was anyone at any time that did not deserve the treatment he received, it was Jesus! Instead of having a pity party for himself, he focused on what his friends would go though over the next several days (see v. 33). That’s an example for all of us to follow.

Trials and sorrows will come. They are a part of living in this world (see verse 33). I’ve gone though my own during this past year, and I bet you could tell me many stories of your own. I have a choice when I face these trials and sorrows. I can turn inward and complain, seek sympathy from others, and feel sorry for myself, or I can take comfort in my relationship with the Father and focus on the needs of those around me–even (or especially) those who are the source of the pain.

Father, help me respond to trials and sorrows like your son.

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Michael Mack has led Small Group Leadership full-time since 2012, but has been involved in small group ministry for more than 25 years. He lives in Pewee Valley, Kentucky (just outside Louisville), with his wife Heidi. Their family small group, which includes their four young adult children, has much potential (and much anticipation) for future growth and multiplication. Michael enjoys mountain and road biking with a group of great friends who participate together in various charity rides. See the "About Michael Mack" page under About Us for more about him.

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