Explore the Bible
November 16, 2014
minister to students
Not many children enjoy the activities assigned to them by their parents – activities designed to develop maturity and character. Chores are not at the top of many teenagers’ list of favored activities. Teens often desire to complete chores as quickly, and not necessarily as thoroughly, as possible. Yet the discipline of routine chores and household duties instills character in ways more enjoyable activities do not. The obligation of parents, however, is not to provide a good time and easy ride, but to develop their children into God-fearing, responsible adults. Discipline is necessary for this development to occur.
In Hebrews 12:1-7, the author of Hebrews is urging his readers to continue in their faith even when faced with hardship, looking to the examples of believers who lived in previous times. Past generations endured all manner of persecution and adversity while remaining faithful. Additionally, Jesus Himself faced greater suffering than anyone and was rewarded for His faithfulness by His Father.
The persecution and hardship that believers often face should be viewed not as a cause for distress and discouragement, but as discipline from a loving Father who designs to use it for the good of His children. Christians should not “grow weary and lose heart” (Heb. 12:3) in the face of discrimination, oppression and other forms of persecution the world brings upon them because of their faith, but instead should regard such trials as an opportunity to identify with their Savior as God the Father uses this discipline to mold and mature them in ways not possible without hardship. Discipline, while challenging, is a sign of salvation and membership in God’s family and should be received as such. When it becomes apparent that negative consequences will come from the world when believers stand firm in their faith, Christians should press on, remain faithful and accept the hardship with joy, knowing that their Father in heaven will use it for their spiritual growth, ultimate good and His glory.