We all have things that wanna bring us down, and sin is gonna try to get us all tangled up. It’s easy to get discouraged and lose heart, and sometimes we just wanna give up. But all this hard stuff? What if we believed it was really for our good…for real? Because God says that it’s in our lives for a reason. His reason for it is to make us more holy like Him. If we just realize that and submit to it, we’ll see sooner or later how it’s been good for us… it will bring us righteousness and peace.
Jesus showed us the way to submit to the Father’s plans…even when it meant gory torture…and HE was already perfectly holy. What He did on the cross gave US a way to be right with God by faith…putting our trust in Jesus. Once we’ve been made right with God, we can be sure He’ll start making us more holy…and some of what He uses for that is troubles and hardships. But don’t lose heart! It’s for our good! Take God at His word, and let Him grow your faith.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame,and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says,
“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”
Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. 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 spirits and live! 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. 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.
Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.