God’s Work of Training Us
Hebrews 12:3-11 (ESV)
Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.  In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.  And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?
“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
nor be weary when reproved by him.
 For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and chastises every son whom he receives.”
 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?  If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.  Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live?  For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness.  For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
Last week we were encouraged by the Apostle to Look to Christ as One who ran a perfect race of endurance. We looked to the Old Testament saints and then to Christ for endurance.
This week we are exhorted to look to Christ in yet another way.
How many of you have ever been discouraged and tired as a Christian. How many have ever felt beaten down by the world and even wondered if you had the stamina to continue? The original readers of this letter to the Hebrews were weary and tired in their souls. They were about ready to quit.
For them, the cause of their weariness came because of hostility from sinners.
Hebrews 10:32-34 (ESV)
But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings,  sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated.  For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one.
They seemingly did well at first as they underwent persecution. These early believers suffered well for the glory of Christ. As time went on, they grew weary and tired in their souls.
The apostle reminds these saints of one huge invaluable point. This truth, understood correctly, would give them the spark they needed to endure. This one truth would change everything.
The hostility from sinners that the Apostle speaks of was really God working. We often don’t think that God uses ungodly people to accomplish His purposes. Continue Reading