The Joy in Responsibility
(An In-Depth Study of Hebrews)
The Suffering Faithful
The Bible is God’s revelation of Himself to mankind. To truly know God in His fullness, one must take in the whole story; from Genesis to Revelation. If you have taken the complete journey, I feel safe saying, you have experienced a full range of emotions in this most extraordinary view of who God says He is.
For most, taking hold of the promises in God’s Word that reveal love, joy, peace, and rest without the mention of suffering is automatic. Many, however, bulk at the idea of love, joy, peace, and rest coming through suffering. The idea of God working in the lives of His people in sovereign purpose through suffering, ultimately for good, will receive a fair amount of resistance.
The book of Hebrews, in particular our current text, is a very sober look at pain and suffering in the Christian life and the endurance in takes to finish the race well. This view of God is not one that most naturally gravitates toward. One commentary states it like this…In other words, the more easy and pain-free your life has been, the less you will cherish the kind of spirituality taught in this book. And the more you have suffered, the more you will cling to the precious teachings of this book – if you are willing to believe them.
We will study this text with three primary objectives: Identify and confirm the pain and suffering in this text / Identify where the pain and suffering comes from / Identify if there is a purpose or design in the pain and suffering.
Seeing and Understanding the Suffering
Suffering can cause you to lose heart (vs 3)
This suffering was experienced by Jesus, and you will experience it also (vs 3)
Suffering is bad and could get worse (vs 4)
Current suffering seems sorrowful with little hope (vs 11)
Where the Suffering is Coming From
The hostility of sinners (vs 3-4)
God’s Discipline (vs 5-7)
Do not forget the understanding of discipline
God is not passive in suffering
God’s Loving Design in Suffering
Our suffering is the effect of God’s love toward us (vs 6)
In suffering we are being treated as a child that is loved ( vs 7)
Suffering is for our good, our holiness, our peace, our righteousness (vs 10-11)
To KNOW God is to KNOW self
Learning the art of “sorrowful yet always rejoicing”