Category Archives: Suffering

Devotional: ‘Working Out in God’s Gym’

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Hebrews 12:11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

I have never been a great athlete. Though I played a few sports in high-school, I was never the star. But although I am not a great athlete, I do value being in good shape.

One thing I have learned about working out – in order to improve you have to push yourself beyond what is comfortable and convenient. Years ago there was a saying that floated around locker rooms and gyms – “No Pain, No Gain.” That is true, both physically and spiritually.

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Devotional: ‘What Does God Want to Accomplish in My Life?’

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Hebrews 12:5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

How do you respond whenever difficulty enters into your life? I suppose the most natural reaction for many of us is to become discouraged and maybe even angry. It is because of this human tendency that the writer of Hebrews gives us these words of encouragement-

“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” ESV

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Devotional: ‘A Reflection of His Character’

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The book of Hebrews was originally written to people who were suffering. They were suffering, not because they were bad people being punished for their disobedience, but because they were good people being persecuted for their faith. Because they were suffering, some were beginning to question the rationality of walking with God. Perhaps some were even tempted to ask – “What’s the use of trying to do what is right if this is what it’s going to get us?”

No doubt some of us have at times asked a similar question. Warren Wiersbe writes – “Satan wants us to believe that the difficulties of life are proof that God does not love us, but just the opposite is true.” According to today’s passage, the chastening these believers were experiencing was actually proof of God’s love and involvement in their lives.

Hebrews 12:7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

According to Hebrews 12, spiritual chastening has at least two very important purposes:

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Devotional: ‘Be Your Child’s Best Parent’

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The Apostle Paul gives us a very important truth about God’s activity in our lives.

Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

God is not pleased to have us go through life, acting like a bunch of spoiled brats. God wants His children to reverence His authority and to reflect His character. The writer of Hebrews tells us this-

Hebrews 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

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Devotional: ‘God is Not a Permissive Parent’

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Hebrews 12:5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

We live in a day when the concept of discipline and correction are often heavily frowned upon. Part of this is due to the fact that there have been times when an adult has used excessive force and abused a child. There is no excuse for abuse in any form; whether it is physical, verbal or emotional. Scripture never encourages the mistreatment of others. As a matter of fact, the Bible says that we should do unto others as we would have them do unto us and that we should love others as we love ourselves.

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Devotional: ‘Strength and Help From Our High Priest’

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The book of Hebrews is both a letter of encouragement and warning. It is a warning for those who fail to trust in Christ – “Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.” (Heb 10:38) But it is also an encouragement for those who will trust and remain faithful – “But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.” (Heb 10:39)

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Devotional: ‘Rewarded for Faithful Suffering’

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Hebrews 10:32 But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, 33 sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. 34 For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. ESV

Since the earliest days of the church, there have been those who have hated Christians. Jesus said – “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.” (John 15:18) The persecution of Christians began with the martyrdom of a young man named Stephen (see Acts 6-7) and it continues on even until today. I have read that there were more Christians martyred during the 20th century, than all the other nineteen centuries combined.

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