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  • Writer's pictureOlufunmilayo Adekusibe

Training through Suffering and Hardship


 

Today’s Reading:

Hebrews 12:1-5 (1).

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." (v. 1 NIV)

 

Suffering, hardship and persecution are very horrible and terrible experiences which no one likes or prays for, but they come our way. What do we do when they come?


The writer of Hebrews advises us as children of God, as believers to see each as training, as discipline from our loving heavenly Father. We are to see it as corrective and instructive training for healthy spiritual growth. It is as necessary as rigorous training and discipline are to an athlete who is competing for a race. This seems a very bitter pill to swallow, but it is the bitter truth of life (v.5).


When faced with hardship, suffering, persecution and are weary, tempted to give it all up; we are to consider how Jesus Christ experienced sorrow and suffering but persevered, endured shame and rejection for our sake on the cross, in obedience to the Father and for the joy of his eternal glory. When we consider this, we are encouraged, strengthened and it sustains our weariness.

Therefore, to go through our Christian race successfully, we are to focus on Jesus Christ, the creator, the pioneer runner, our coach and trainer. He is our goal, objective and the chief organizer of the faith race (v.2; Phil.3:13-14).


We are to endure and persevere hardship. As we have past heroes of Bible history (11) as 'clouds of witnesses', as our models of endurance and perseverance in faith, in the face of difficulties. They testified to the power of faith and to God's faithfulness (v.1; 11; Act 29:24; 1Corin 9:24-26).


A story was told in August 10, 1628 of how the royal warship pride of the Swedish navy, 'Vasa', sank on its maiden voyage. It took 2 years to build and was lavishly decorated, holding 64 cannons. It was not seaworthy because of its excessive load and decorations.


In the same vein, we need God's discipline and training because our Christian life can be weighed down in our struggle against sin (vv. 1-2). We may project an impressive exterior to others, but our sin-weighed inside can hinder, impaired our tolerance, our perseverance. By relying on God's direction and empowerment by the Holy Spirit, we will be able to persevere to the end.

On our spiritual journey, grace and forgiveness are always available to us.

Olufunmilayo Titilola Adekusibe


Prayer:

1. Father, in any way I have covered the burden and weight of my sin with the activities of my Christian life; forgive me and help me to shed off everything that easily hinders my Christian race, in Jesus name.

2. Father deliver my life from the sword and my destiny from the power of the dog, in Jesus name.

3. Every siege of darkness over and around my life and destiny, scatter by fires, in Jesus name.

4. Father uproot everything you have not planted in your church and revive your Pentecostal fire and power, in Jesus name.

5. Father, thank you for sustaining Nigeria with your power and fire. Let your peace and harmony move us forward, in Jesus name. Amen

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