The book of Hebrews, Chapter 12 drives home hard truths:
- Tells me not to lose heart when the Lord rebukes me;
- Tells me that the Lord disciplines those whom he loves;
- Tells me that if he chastens me, he deals with me as a son;
- Tells me to endure hardship as discipline because God is treating me as his child;
- Tells me that this discipline is for my own good, though painful now, it later produces a harvest of righteousness and peace.
In the midst of those situations where it just seems like there is no way out, where help is neither coming from the North, South, East or West, where I feel like I cannot fall any lower and begin to look for help everywhere, wishing my problems will magically go away. I fast and pray, I wait to hear back from God but he seems too far away, his arms seem too short to save me, I don’t even hear him. Where is my Hebrews chapter 12 then? and When I find it, do I find comfort in it? Do I let it speak to me what God is saying? Or is it just another bible chapter in that moment?
It is important for us to note that the purpose of God for our lives is to be sanctified, to be holy just as he is holy and blameless before him in love. God desires for us to be fruitful and to be vessels unto honour. God’s purpose for you is not just to make you happy here on earth, but to ensure that through Jesus Christ, his perfect will is achieved through and in you.
Once we have an understanding that God is not the fairy God mother waiting to wave her wand to make all our wishes come true, we might start to see things differently (might, being the main word here). We can stop going around with long faces, feeling depressed, and feeling that God doesn’t love us which explains why our whole world seems to be crashing down. A change of perspective is all we need to see things differently.
Now, notice that even the bible doesn’t shy away from warning us that it is indeed a painful process. Nobody enjoys the process but everybody loves and celebrates the outcome. I would use an illustration of a gold bar going through a fiery furnace and coming out all pure and beautiful without impurities but I prefer to use an example closer to home.
Look at your life and examine your Christian walk with God, think back to when you had just given your life to Christ, life seemed like a walk in the park, almost every prayer was answered on time, your faith was unshakable, you always felt God’s presence, and sometimes, you even got answers to your thoughts before you voiced them.
Then gradually, you had to wait a little longer, sometimes the answer didn’t come the way you were expecting it (but it came all the same), things began to happen that made you question God, your faith was shaken, everything you have ever known to be true didn’t work out like that anymore. You were awaken to the real world. Now, in the midst of this, we are far from pleased because we want things done our way and in our own time but at the end of it all, can you truly look back and say it hasn’t paid off?
Have you noticed how you are less irritable when things don’t go your way, how you are more understanding of people’s situations because you have been there before, how you are more loving to others, humbled by God’s grace and love, joyous and peaceful in the midst of seemingly un-peaceful situations and have learned to stretch your faith?
God’s ultimate purpose and objective is that you might spend eternity with him in his glory and he would stop at nothing to get you there. He who has started a good work in your life will be faithful to complete it.