#DailyDevotion Don’t Think It’s Strange You Are Suffering Christian
Hebrews 12: 4In your struggle against sin you haven’t yet resisted
to the point where your blood has flowed. 5And you have forgotten
the encouragement spoken to you as sons: My son, don’t think lightly of the
Lord’s training or give up when He corrects you. 6The Lord corrects
whom He loves,and He whips everyone He accepts as His son. 7What you endure is to correct you. God is treating you as His sons. Is there a son whom his father doesn’t correct? 8All sons are corrected; if you’re not corrected, you’re not sons but are illegitimate. 9Furthermore, our natural fathers used to correct us, and we respected them. Shouldn’t we much more be willing to put ourselves under the authority of the Father of spirits and live? 10They corrected us for a short time as it seemed best to them. But He corrects us for our good, to have us share His holiness. 11While we’re being corrected, it always seems unpleasant and painful. But after we’ve been trained, correction gives us the peaceful fruit of righteousness. 12And so, if your hands are letting go, take a firm hold; if you feel weak in your knees, stand firm; 13and make straight paths for your feet. Do this so that the crippled limb will not be dislocated but will be made well.
So we are called to struggle against sin. Jesus is the one who struggled against sin to the point of shedding his blood to free us from sin. I don’t think the author here is talking particularly about the suffering from persecution, but it certainly includes that. Indeed none of us will struggle against sin as Jesus did and shed our blood.
But the struggle against sin is not just our resisting sinning. It is struggling against all the effects of sin in the world. You are going to have all kinds of suffering, trials and tribulations because you live in this world. Your Father in heaven has a purpose for them. The devil is going to take one of two tacks. He is either going to convince you, you must have done something really horrible for God to treat you this way and make you feel guilt and shame or he going to try to convince you God must be horrible monster to let this happen you, to allow this to happen to you or purposely bring this upon you. There is a third option he also uses, there is no God.
But Hebrews tells us that when we are suffering it is because we are sons of God. We are not to think lightly of the Lord’s training, his correction, or his discipline. That is what we are enduring when we suffer. Think about how you discipline your own children giving them choirs, providing consequences for their action and other things you do to help them grow up. When I took martial arts, my teacher would constantly push my abilities so I would improve and get better. How much more will our heavenly Father push the limits of our faith and strengthen our spirits?
So we should willingly accept this discipline when it comes upon us from the Father. Exercise your faith and tell the devil to be gone. Your suffering is a sign of your acceptance by God as his children. Who knows what we need to keep, preserve and strengthen us in our faith? Who else knows what we need to grow spiritually than our Creator and Father in heaven? True it’s not going to be pleasant. It not as if Jesus didn’t tells us, Luk 9:23 “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Peter reminds us, 1Pe 1:6-7 “In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, (7) so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” Hebrews reminds us it is “to have us share His holiness” and to “give us the peaceful fruit of righteousness.” So remember these things when you struggle and you will endure.
Heavenly Father, since you have called us to be your sons in Christ Jesus, you have also called us to participate in his suffering now so we may participate in his glory in the world to come. Always hold forth to us the glory to come so we may endure with patience our crosses until such time as your grant us relief and that our faith in you and your son Jesus Christ may be purified and strengthened that we may endure the race. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.