I found myself in a beautifully tragic place in my prayer time today. I felt on the verge of tears as I was moved through the book of Hebrews. There’s a passage in the book that points to how God sometimes disciplines us through suffering:
7 It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9 Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. 11 All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.
This is not a politically correct passage even in Christian circles. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard authors or pastors say, “God wants His people to be in total victory in this life: Health, finances, relationships.” The irony is that Jesus lived day to day financially, had tons of strained relationships, and was murdered. And it’s not because Jesus didn’t have a positive attitude or didn’t have enough faith. If Jesus Christ suffered and we’re called to follow him, why do we try so hard to avoid it in America?
That victory that Christ has given to us through his death and Resurrection is COMPLETE victory over death and gives us eternal life. Not only can we endure any tragedy or hardship through God’s power but we can find ourselves more like Christ on the other side.