Intro: I am so enjoying our sweet new granddaughter, Amana Lynn. I have been able to see her several times this past week and she is already teaching me so much about love and the posture of faith. As I hold her in my arms, I think about my life in the perfect care of Father God. When my flesh is uncomfortable and I cry out in distress, God is there to move on my faith to bring good things that in time will satisfy or heal me. Are you aware because of Jesus you are lovingly taken care of and held in the arms of your heavenly Father?
The life of faith is not for the timid or the fearful; it takes enduring courage to live in the faith to which God calls his children. In order to live by faith we must imitate Jesus in his faithfulness, as well as endure in his sufferings. Scripture teaches Father God disciplines his children of the new covenant. The covenant relationship Jesus—the Son—shared with the Father is one to be emulated. Therefore, we must choose to keep our focus on Jesus because he will perfect our faith and bring us into a good place of grace [favor/divine resources] and peace [wholeness]. Discernment [ability to distinguish truth from error] comes as we live in the faith of Christ; we trust in his promise to care for us. Otherwise, it is not faith [trust in God] at all; rather, it is simply worldly or reckless living.
In our passage today, the author seeks to encourage his readers to endure their present persecution by focusing on Jesus. These early Christians are emotionally fatigued and want to quit. Emotional fatigue comes from having to deal with accumulated stress that rolls in from the negative or challenging situations in life; one thing after another. In trying to deal with all the negative events, a person can be left drained and worn out. Have you ever found yourself emotionally fatigued and weary in faith? If so, Jesus understands and offers his strength, because he endured the most heinous hostility for his faith.
Father God is all powerful and he can turn what is sent to destroy us into a blessing that works for the good of us as his children. Keep in mind it is God’s purpose that we grow in holy character, so discipline [pressure to guide in a righteous direction] is essential; otherwise, we will wander and go our own way [follow our flesh rather than the Spirit]. If we are not living for God’s glory, we will missed our destiny which is to imitate and reflect Christ. So, live for the glory of God, today, and ask for his grace as you need it!
Hebrews 12:3-10 NLT
3 Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people;[who opposed him] then you won’t become weary and give up. 4 After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin.
5 And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children? He said,
“My child, don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline, and don’t give up when he corrects you.
For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.”
7 As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? 8 If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all. 9 Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever?[really live in the life of God]
10 For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. 11 No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.
Prayer: Father God, thank you for Jesus who teaches me every day how to live walking on your righteous path. I yield to your discipline, because I know you love me. Thank you for the Holy Spirit who brings discernment, endurance, and abundant grace for my life. I need you in the good times and I need you in the challenging times! Hold me in your arms, Father. In Jesus’ name. Amen.