Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. (Hebrews 12:7-8)
Hardship is an instrument of holy help in the hands of the Almighty. We are to endure hardship as a discipline of divine love from the hand of our loving, heavenly Father, for in God’s economy there shall be no spoiled saints. Christian, read on and be comforted today!
We have been assured that life on this side of the grave will be marked by trouble, trials, and tribulations. And that is for good reason! Our God is conforming us into the image and likeness of His beloved Son, Jesus Christ, who was “a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering” (Isaiah 53:3), and who “learned obedience from what he suffered” (Hebrews 5:8). This is why Scripture exhorts us to endure hardship and not to try to avoid it. Our difficulties have been delivered to us from a Father who refuses to spoil us, for that kind of divine indulgence would leave us as only a fraction of the person He intends us to be.
Would you rather that God left you alone? If He did, you would not be one of His children. It was a maxim among the Jewish religious leaders that “The love which is not conjoined with reproof is not genuine.” Indeed, Proverbs 13:24 tells us that “He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.” As an earthly father to four children, I would not have been a truly loving father if I had allowed our kids to do whatever they pleased. God gave me the tremendous responsibility to train our children up for His use, and that training included necessary correction along the way. So too is it with our heavenly Father.
God always leaves us two options in our response to hardship as discipline. We can grow bitter or we can grow better. To grow bitter is to short-circuit God’s perfect plan for our imperfect lives. But to grow better is to grow in humble submission to the truth that our God is dealing with us as His children, not as spoiled saints. He loves us so much that He sent His only son to suffer and die on our behalf loves us far too much to spoil us! This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!