Let me be honest with you.
If we choose to live our lives with the goal of obtaining God’s promised opportunities for kingdom partnership, it’s not going to be easy. That kind of life was not easy for any of the ancient faith heroes listed in Hebrews Chapter 11. It wasn’t easy for Jesus either – the whole world system was against Him.
But that is precisely what we need to keep in mind when it does get tough:
Hebrews 12:3, 7-8
For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, so that you won’t grow weary and give up…Endure suffering as discipline: God is dealing with you as sons. For what son is there that a father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline – which all receive – then you are illegitimate children and not sons.
Perspective matters. Are we trying to merely endure our difficulties until we find our next moment of rest/pleasure/escape…or are we looking at opposition from other people as useful discipline from the Lord?
Furthermore, we had human fathers discipline us, and we respected them. Shouldn’t we submit even more to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time based on what seemed good to them, but He does it for our benefit, so that we can share His holiness.
One Sunday, every year in June, we stop and reflect on all the lessons our human fathers taught us. We learned lessons directly from him, and we had to learn some the hard way. Looking back now, we are thankful for all he did and taught to prepare us for our adult life.
Even more so, we can trust God’s discipline to be in our best interest. The lessons we learn now will carry over to our next life in eternity.
No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
Will we allow ourselves to be trained by God’s discipline, trained to be Christ-like in our approach to difficulties? We will not experience the peaceful fruit of [right-living] unless we are trained by the hard stuff God allows to happen in our lives.
When life gets hard…not if, but when…look at it as training that has a purpose. And we can have the endurance to learn and grow as we consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, so that [we] won’t grow weary and give up.