And you have forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons: My son, do not take the Lord's discipline lightly, or faint when you are reproved by Him;Hebrews 12:5(HCSB)
The writer of the Hebrews often directs the gaze of those who read his epistle, to words and wisdom in the Old Testament, as a warning to avoid their mistakes. The counsel in Proverbs 3 is to accept that chastening rod of God, for as an earthly father corrects his son, so our Heavenly Father disciplines His children. And in Hebrews we are similarly admonished to endure suffering as a discipline, because God is dealing with us as sons, mature sons, adult sons, blessed inheritors of His heavenly promises.
Like Christ, we learn obedience through suffering, for although suffering may appear unpleasant for a time, the benefits that hide beneath its feet are overwhelming. Paul refers to suffering as "a light and momentary affliction," which is achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs all the hardships they inflicted, and God is using all such trials to train us in all godly graces, knowing that suffering produces patient endurance, endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens the confident hope of our salvation in Christ, and His heavenly rewards.
The enemy wants us to view suffering as the heavy rod of God's wrath and displeasure, as he spews his contemptible lies on the good and gracious character of our Heavenly Father. But we must recognise suffering as God's loving rod of correction and His staff of comfort.
Let us endure suffering as discipline, knowing that through it, God is dealing with us as sons, for our eternal benefit, and to the praise of His Holy name.
Heavenly Father, forgive me for the times when I have not recognised my suffering as chastening from You to develop in me the wonderful fruit of righteousness. Help me to consider it all joy when I fall into the trials of life, knowing that the testing of my faith produces perseverance so that I may grow in grace and come into spiritual fullness. In Jesus' name I pray, AMEN.
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