Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but 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 12:7-11
Life is so hard, sometimes. Doesn’t matter how well you are on the outside, you can easily be struggling on an emotional and spiritual level. And that’s something you can’t hide from yourself. There is no running away from it. In the world, struggles are often unbearable because there seems to be nothing to hold on to. There is no hope and everything seems to come to a dead end. Yet, the degree of fear and pain doesn’t decrease in the life of a Christian. However, it offers an opportunity to gain inner strength, not through one’s self, but through a loving Savior. Yes, in Jesus, there is hope for the taking. There is faith to be had. There is light at the end of the dark tunnel. And the effort exerted is never wasted but always rewarding.
This life is not about ridding ourselves of our “problems.” That is a futile attempt, at best. It is about enduring the hardships that come our way. Without them, there is no reason to exercise our faith in God whom we claim to love and obey. I had to go through my divorce and feeling of loneliness for years, just to find out how far I would go with my God. Some people may have to go even farther, but to me, I have to fight to quickly see the big picture before things get worse. I cannot give up. My relationship with God is too precious to gamble with. If I lose that, what else is there to live for? Both here and the afterlife, that is. There is no hope without God. Only darkness. There is no better place. Only a dead end road. No forever. Only oblivion.
Each of us has a personal road to walk on. We live our own lives in our own personal deserts – with our own sacrifices, hardships and struggles to go through. No one is exempt. I am thankful for my own struggles for without it, God would not be in my thoughts regularly. My need for him would grow lesser and lesser each day. And that, to me, is scarier than having to go through the discipline God has put me under – because he loves me and wants me to know that there is someone who cares. It’s his way of getting my attention. And boy, does he need to do that on a daily basis. Talk about his own perseverance! And my “good deeds” is not what pleases him, by the way… but my brokenness and my desire to get up everytime I fall. That’s what puts a smile on his face. My desire to keep walking when I get tired. My desire to try it again, for the umpteenth time. Yes… my desire to endure. It’s what counts.