“Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. 4 In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5 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.
6 For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and chastises every son whom he receives.”
7 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? 8 If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9 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? 10 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. 11 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.
12 Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. 14 Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; 16 that no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal.” Hebrews 12: 3-16 ESV
Dear Heavenly Father – Thank you that your Word is anointed and never returns void! You are faithful. Please bless anyone who reads this – open their ears to hear and eyes to see and their understanding so they may obey you. – Amen
We have been studying trials from God. There is also chastisement (discipline and correction) from God. As we see in the passage above, God corrects us when we are wrong in order to help us be better disciples. Although, His testing and trials and His chastisement and discipline are 2 different things – sometimes situations we go through are designed to be a little of both. Especially when God is shaking us to see what is our worth and when we must be corrected.
“In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:6-7 ESV
Regarding trials – the other day, God just spoke to me. He asked me if I was worth all that Jesus suffered and was I worth all the effort God has done for me. Of course I was shocked at the question! No! of course I am not worth it – it is by grace and mercy that God extended, that gives me access. I am a sinner. I sat there feeling depleted and unworthy. I then recalled Psalm 139 – I am fearfully and wonderfully made, with purpose and intention. God made me perfect. The curse of sin on this world that happened with the original sin separated me from God and that perfection – separated me from being worthy. God showed me something amazing and I just began to worship how great He is!
His design is perfect and worthy – His design is to be His child. When we deny ourselves (die to our carnal ways) the Bible says we become new (2 Corinthians 5:17). What if this “new” is only new to us? What if Our Father, the Great Restorer whose mission is to restore us to Him, makes us “new” by restoring us to the person He intended – the one who is worthy, not because of what we have done, but because of WHO – HE – MADE – US – TO – BE!
These trials and discipline then are tools to make us new to us – to transform us and restore us. It is for us to show ourselves approved. Approved. Tested and approved, tested to assess our value and worth. Can I get an AMEN?!
“Study and do your best to present yourself to God approved, a workman [tested by trial] who has no reason to be ashamed, accurately handling and skillfully teaching the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15 AMP
Lord help me, please – I want to be worthy of all you have done for me. Please transform me and help me to be approved. – Amen
“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him” James 1:12 NIV
To get to the place where God’s will shall be done in my life – I must be disciplined and tried. I shared with you how the Lord told me I had built up some pride. Overcoming disabilities to develop a successful career and working hard at many things other people just take advantage of being able to do – I was proud of myself. But I did not acknowledge that I accomplished it all solely because of God’s grace. I puffed myself up above God.
“For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.” Galatians 6:3 ESV
Once he revealed it, I have seen it. I never thought of myself as proud – but pride grows and it grew into strange places in my life. I actually feel some prideful embarrassment about sharing that I have a pride problem that God is uprooting out of me. However, it is better to be humble, confess and get it uprooted before it spreads into a complete hardening of my spirit – as we see in this next verse, a hardened spirit is the consequence of pride.
“But when his heart was lifted up and his spirit was hardened so that he dealt proudly, he was brought down from his kingly throne, and his glory was taken from him.” Daniel 5:20 ESV
Pride is an abomination (disgrace, atrocity, or horror) to God (Proverbs 16:5). I don’t know about you – but I want God to look at me and NOT see horror, but see a child earnestly seeking to please Him. And I most certainly would like to learn the lesson without a punishment! He has been trying to gently show me for a while and I have not realized it, humbled myself and repented.
“And I will break the pride of your power, and I will make your heavens like iron and your earth like bronze.” Leviticus 26:19 ESV
Here in Leviticus God shows how he breaks pride – oppressive leadership and/or drought and a hardened earth. Now, do you want to hear a story about how pride had hardened my spirit to miss out on God’s gentle correction – leading to more harsh corrections?!?!
My pastor preached a sermon on pride a while back. I think it was in May. I think the message was actually on “help” and not being too proud to ask for help. I thought it was a nice sermon, but I am in such a position I have no choice but to ask for help all the time. I own a house that was nothing short of a miracle blessing from God. Then if started falling apart quickly due to unforeseen issues. I was not prepared with financial or physical ability. I have had no choice but to constantly ask for help. I don’t want to be that person, the needy friend.
Once while asking for help, I had a friend ask: why did you get a house if you can’t take care of it?
Well, it was a good solid house and a gift from God. But let’s look at that verse from Leviticus again. To a farming people (like the Israelites) this would mean hardship with the home and provisions. Imagine trying to plant seeds or feed sheep on solid bronze! Nothing will be fruitful. And here a battle against home issues and work issues began. God had begun trying to reveal my pride and work it out of me.
So, the Tuesday night after the sermon, I was speakinh with my church group to discuss the sermon. They asked “what is it that God is showing you to ask for help with?” When it was my turn to answer – I told them I am not proud, I ask for help all the time – too much actually. Wow, had I bought the lie the enemy was selling – I was too proud to know I was proud. I was so proud I didn’t say – hey, I have this list of needs. I don’t know who to ask. Please pray with me that God will show me who to ask and how He, The Provider, intends to accomplish these things.
I am ashamed of my pride. Looking back, God probably intended to use my church to bless me and I robbed them of the opportunity to be blessed by being a blessing. I have repented. I am so embarrassed.
A relationship with God is intimate – and pride prevents raw, honest, unadulterated truth. It inhibits intimacy. Even a small amount of pride sneaking in one way – leads to it spreading to other areas. It’s time for us to get ourselves right with God, to be effective and receive the blessed life He has in store for us.
How do we get through this?
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV
“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” 1 Peter 5:10 ESV
If you don’t already, and today you would like to, have a relationship with a God who can communicate with you and be part of your life (and protect you) – one who is full of mighty power and tender love, then please know that I have put the “A, B, C’s of Salvation” in my introduction. Please click here to follow the link.**
Thank you for reading ~ Grace be with you
Be healthy and blessed ~ Love one another
~ Watch and Pray ~
Seek God & keep your eyes on Jesus!
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!