a blog from our pastors and staff
Welcome to my Advent Blog. This is the 7th of 13 blogs, and we encourage you to read them in order. We are exploring ways to rediscover the child-like faith we once had.
They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness.
-- Hebrews 12:10
A million books have been written about why there is evil and pain in the world. Most of the conclusions come down to four possibilities. 1) God is the author of your pain, 2) Satan is the author of your pain, 3) you are the author of your pain or 4) the world in which you live is the author of your pain. (By the way, the answer is 5) all of the above.)
We think that if we know who or what is behind all this hardship, we can find a way to avoid it (or at least reduce it). Hebrews 12:7 says that we should “endure hardship as discipline from God”. While, claiming that God is the author of all hardship is a big mistake, I can’t overlook this passage in Hebrews. It may a bit unclear whether God is the originator of the hardship or He just wants to use it to make us holy. Either way, the bottom line is that God wants to discipline us. Nobody likes to be disciplined. I think most of us would choose to have an easy life over having a harder life that helps us grow.
So what does any of this have to do with having a child-like faith? While children hate to be disciplined, I think they come to accept it as normal and even necessary as a way for them to grow and learn. But as adults, we hate to be corrected. Being corrected makes us feel like a child.
But we are still children in God’s eyes and discipline guides our path. “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 12:11-12). Pain and hardship are two of hardest gifts to receive, but they are a gift. God isn’t always the author of the gift but He does want the gift produce good in you. And it will, if you will see it as way to make you righteous.
The next blog will be posted Friday, Dec 13. Please feel free to comment below.