We’ve got your daily encouragement, written by Andrea Johnson.
“3 Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. 4 In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5 And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?
“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
nor be weary when reproved by him.
6 For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and chastises every son whom he receives.”
7 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9 Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. 11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
12 Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. 14 Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; 16 that no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal. 17 For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears.”
As a coach, sometimes I get to work with athletes one-on-one. They almost always are very hesitant to be in this space. I believe they feel like their movements will be placed under a microscope and torn to bits, which can be uncomfortable. But the other day, I had an athlete that was super happy to have this one-on-one time. She said, “I’m here for this!” Her focus was not on the correction, instruction, or training but the outcome.
In today’s passage, we are encouraged to embrace God’s correction as part of our training. Sure, discipline can be challenging; no one wants to think they are moving, thinking, or speaking wrong. But the truth is, not one of us is perfect. The good news is we serve a perfect God who wants us all to come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2). Therefore, we too should have the attitude “I’m here for this!”
What we endure is meant to educate us; it brings about wisdom. That is what a loving Father does for His children. He places us in situations that will grow us as we submit to his life-giving discipline. The training time may seem painful, but later, it will transform character, bringing a harvest of righteousness and peace to those who endure it.
As I began working with my athlete, I could see the light-bulb moments, those times where a part of the movement was made clear. Through her work and attitude, she received instruction well, and after it was all done, there was a fantastic improvement in her movement patterns.
Endurance is to focus on the outcome amid adversity, knowing there is a lesson to be learned, and we must look to the outcome for comfort. As Hebrews 12:5b-6 says, “My child, don’t underestimate the value of the discipline and training of the Lord God, or get depressed when he has to correct you. For the Lord’s training of your life is the evidence of his faithful love. And when he draws you to himself, it proves you are his delightful child.” Enjoy the one-on-one time with God realizing that you are God’s child. Then, submit yourself to correction, instruction, or training; this attitude will produce a prosperous outcome.
Are you feeling the challenges of life, are there pressures on every side? Remember our momentary, light distress [this passing trouble] is producing for us an eternal weight of glory [a fullness] beyond all measure! (2 Corinthians 4:17) Endure, keep the outcome in sight. God will deliver you.
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