Think what he went through; how he put up with so much hatred from sinners! So do not let yourselves become discouraged and give up. For in your struggles against sin you have not yet had to resist to the point of being killed. Have you forgotten the encouraging words which God speaks to you as his children?
‘My child, pay attention when the Lord corrects you, and do not be discouraged when he rebukes you.’ (verses 3-5)
Read Hebrews 12:3 – 11
There are those who promote Christianity as a kind of high life. Follow Jesus, they say, and your success and happiness are assured. Nothing is further from the truth, as the life of Jesus himself shows. He remained poor all his life, was constantly in danger of persecution and death, and finally was cruelly executed. Being one of his followers involves the potential for such suffering for us also.
What’s the point, then, of becoming one of his followers? What sensible alternative is there? Certainly not to follow the way of sin, which, though seemingly the easy path, leads in the end to dire disaster. The only hope we have is in Jesus. We also have the assurance that he will use all the troubles that do come our way to strengthen us in our faith. And to those who endure to the end, he has promised a rich reward.
Lord, give me the wisdom and the strength to follow your path, wherever it might lead, and to see with the eyes of faith the glorious end you have provided for us all. Amen.
by Richard Hauser, in ‘New Strength for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 1998)
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