After the Lord gave His Word “faith” to me yesterday, I continued reading Hebrews. “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.” (Heb 12:1-3)
When I become discouraged, I need only to look to Jesus and what He endured for us. He overcame sin and death and is now glorified and at the right hand of the Father. I have no idea what the Lord has planned for me, but I realize that moving through this uncertainty is to develop my patience and faith, and that at the end of this period of time, I will be stronger because of my faith in the Lord’s strength.
I’m going through a period of discipline. “It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live?” (Heb 12:7-9)
The Lord knows me better than I know myself–He knows what needs to happen in my life in order “to become conformed to the image of His Son” (Rom. 8:29). The Lord created the caterpillar to struggle in the chrysalis in order force the fluid into its wings, which has to happen so that the butterfly will be able to stretch and open their fully formed wings and fly. So He has struggles for me to go through to enrich my faith and patience in order for me to walk in the steps He has planned for me.
We don’t have much choice in what happens to and around us, but we do have a choice in how we react to our circumstances. I can accept this discipline with resignation, self-pity, anger, resentment, or I can accept it with gratitude, realizing He loves me enough to refine me through fire (1 Pet 1:6-7) in order to make me more and more like Jesus for His glory (2 Cor 3:18).
He wants me to share in His holiness, and to experience the peace this yields in my life. “For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.” (Heb 12:10-11)
The resulting peace isn’t that I won’t have more trials to go through. Instead, I will be able to stand on the other side knowing His love for me endures; and that “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Phil 4:13); and that He “causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Rom 8:28). And it may be that the purpose is for someone else who is reading this post, not only for me.