Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

 Youths: Inheritors of Faith

Hebrews 12:1-13

“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

As Christians, we are called to respond to life’s anxieties and challenges with perseverance.  Oftentimes though, it feels like the situations we deal with are insurmountable, unfair, or impossible to get through.  Hebrews 12 gives us a guide for not just going through the difficulties of life but growing through our difficulties to become inheritors of our faith.

Today’s passage focuses on the first section of Hebrews 12, which discusses how God disciplines his children.  Verses 1-3 encourages believers of the early Christian Church to stay firm in their faith in God and persevere to stay on the path God laid out for them.  The passage encourages believers to do this by focusing on Jesus, who endured great hardship for our salvation.  The early Christians faced much uncertainty, persecution, and temptation to follow an easier path.  However, they were encouraged to “fix their eyes” on Jesus, who not only endured even greater struggles, but victoriously overcame them by focusing on the greater picture when he confronted opposition, torment, and ridicule.  When we use Jesus as our example for overcoming hardship, we are reminded of the power of God’s strength, faithfulness, and love in our own struggles.

Verses 4-11 then encourages believers to be disciplined in their faith through perseverance.  The passage highlights how the Lord disciplines the ones He loves because they are His children.  We are encouraged to endure hardship as discipline (verse 7), allowing the Lord to use difficult experiences to mold us into the people we are called to be.  We are reminded that God’s discipline is even greater than that of an earthly parent, who disciplines according to what they think is best (verse 10).  God disciplines us for our own good, so that we may share in his holiness, which is our ultimate goal in life.

As youth, we are inheritors of the faith that was exhibited in the lives of the individuals discussed in Hebrews 11.  When we face challenges in exercising that faith, it is hard to see beyond our own shortcomings, weaknesses, and limitations. However, we can be encouraged by Hebrews 12 and remember that God knows all and intends even our hardship as discipline for our ultimate good.  The passage itself acknowledges that no discipline seems pleasant, and is painful, but that it will produce a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who allow themselves to be trained by it (verse 11). Today, let’s practice perseverance in the face of challenges, knowing that God intends them for our greater good.

Father, in each of the challenges we face today, help us to be reminded of Your goodness and see the opportunities for discipline and growth in our struggles.

Thought of the day 

When we allow God to use our hardships to discipline us, it provides a purpose for our struggle and hope that we are being molded into who He made us to be.

Jessica George
St. John’s MTC, New York 

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