"He grew up...like a root out of dry ground." Isaiah 53:2
Isaiah points out that Jesus sprang up "like a root out of dry ground." Talk about tough circumstances! God dressed up in a man's body, living among those who wanted to kill him simply because He wanted to save them. He left Heaven - which we are hard-pressed to even imagine - to enter earth, a hostile environment filled with betrayers and religious stiff necks, to go toe-to-toe with the devil. So, He pulled away a lot. What a consecrated, set-apart life He had to live in order to survive among His own who despised, rejected and finally crucified Him. He spent much time in prayer and came back from those visits with His Father encouraged and empowered. Jesus always kept one thing in mind: He came to do His Father's will. Just that! And He said that as the Father had sent Him, "So send I you" John 20:21. So we too should keep God's will in mind at all times as we endeavor to survive our struggles. We need to remember that He sent us, and that we have a job to do. When we know that we are not our own, that our well-being and identity are not dependent upon the recognition of others, we can experience a level of peace, joy and contentment even in the toughest of circumstances. When we know God appreciates us we can have a healthy self-esteem, not a weak dependent ego that constantly needs propping up like a loose signpost. Tough times produce strong character, and strong character brings God's blessings. "For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance" Matthew 25:29.