'Though he were a Son, yet learned he
obedience by the things which he suffered" (Heb :8).
"Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom
he receiveth.... lf ye be without chastisement... then are ye bastards, and not
"For remember, when your body suffers, sin loses its power, and you won't be
spending the rest of your life chasing after
evil desires, but will be anxious to do the
will of God.
' 'Don't let me hear of your suffering for
murdering or stealing or making trouble
or being a busy body and prying into other people's affairs. "So if you are
suffering according to God's will, keep on doing what
is right and trust yourself to the God
who made you, for he will never fail
you" (lPet 4:1,2,15,19 tib).
I've often wished there were a way to gain without pain; a way to learn without
suffering and chastisement — but there
We would prefer to enjoy an effective
ministry without the suffering which
makes it possible. If God used painful
suffering to perfect Jesus, how much more
will He use trouble in our lives?
Let us then joyfully embrace the Lord's
discipline. For by this we know we are
sons and not bastards.
[Note: Paul is applying this in a spiritual
sense. Under the law, bastards had no right
to priestly or kingly ministry (Deut 23:2).
New Testament rules of grace decree children born out of wedlock are treated the
same as anyone else.]
Perseverance And Maturity
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers,
whenever you face trials of many kinds,
because you know the testing of your
faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you
may be mature... not lacking anything" (Jas 1:2-4). Many leaders seem to
become "escape artists" when obedience to God's will requires suffering or
trials. James teaches us that rather than try to escape the fiery ordeals that
come, we should joyfully embrace them. Notice, "...perseverance must finish its
work so you may be mature. "This means we cannot speed up the process. Fiery
ordeals do not produce instant results. When a fiery trial comes we must not
only embrace it, we must endure and persevere in it.
The Cocoon And The Butterfly. A man once found a cocoon
which had dropped from a tree. The butterfly was beginning to emerge, so he
stopped to watch. It struggled for about forty-five minutes. In that time only
the head and part of one wing emerged free of the cocoon. Thinking he would help
the struggling butterfly accelerate the process, he took
his razor-sharp pen knife and cut the cocoon open to release the emerging larvae.
To his surprise, he found only the part
which had emerged through great effort
and struggle was developed.
The part he
had cut free was still undeveloped and not
ready to be exposed to the elements outside the cocoon.
Instead of helping the larvae become a
butterfly, he had aborted the process. The
half-developed butterfly soon died.
We church leaders are guilty of the
same thing. We see brethren wrestling
with difficulty. We feel sorry for them and
try to help them out, only to discover that
they fall back into the same problem again
a short while later. Were we to let them
suffer awhile, and learn the lesson God is
trying to teach them — it would be better
for them and the Church.