Whatever the previous week has brought your way, even if the trials have seriously outweighed the good points, we need to remind ourselves that God actually allows us to be challenged for a purpose! The author of Hebrews writes, ‘God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.’ (Hebrews 12:10-11)
I’ve often heard, and also had the thought myself, that suffering is a mystery; however this scripture clearly says that it is for a purpose! The thought that God would allow us to go through sometimes very challenging times is almost unthinkable, and the notion that it might be ‘for our good’ sends our head spinning! Yet, if we can see through the panic and fear and set our gaze beyond, this passage from Hebrews gives us a clear view of what lies on the other side of our suffering: ‘sharing in his holiness’ and a ‘harvest of righteousness and peace’. These are clearly the rewards for those who choose to stick close to God and not falter in times of trial.
Be encouraged: just as it was for Christ, our suffering is not final, terminal or defining, but rather, a journey of preparation to ultimate victory as we share in all manner of trials that are meant to make us more like him!