Hebrews 12:7 - Endure hardship as discipline
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I don’t know about you, but I don’t necessarily enjoy being disciplined. As a young boy, I remember several disciplinary actions by my parents against me. I didn’t have many, but I had enough. I was spanked and grounded, and spanked - mostly spanked. I’m a child of the 70’s and 80’s, there was no time out chair back then and I didn’t have a cell phone to be taken away.
No disciplinary action, whether time out or spanking is pleasant, but it’s useful in teaching acceptable and unacceptable behavior.
Here in verse 7, in the Greek, there is no specific word for “hardship”. It literally says “endure discipline”. The hardship and difficulty is implied in a few verses earlier talking about struggling against sin and punishment. The writer of Hebrews in chapter 12 is teaching the principle of understanding the difficult moments in our lives - when we feel spanked or put in time out - whether justified or not - as a teaching tool in our faith.
We know, that as believers, God has promised never to leave us or forsake us. We know that His love is unconditional and unchanging. We know that His grace is greater than our sin. We know of His great compassion and mercy. With that in mind, we can see the trials and difficulties we go through - when it seems that we are being punished or unjustly treated, as a way of our faith growing to trust in Him all the more. When we endure that discipline, when we endure that hardship, any hardship, we also know that we will be stronger and better because of it.