1 Thessalonians 3 Lesson

God Disciplines Those That He Loves

SUFFERING AND ADVERSITY

The more we study the Bible, the more we understand that suffering and adversity are a predictable part of a Christian’s life.  The Bible is clear that suffering and adversity are two of the tools that God uses to teach us and discipline us. 

Jesus’ life was full of adversity.   Paul also suffered greatly.   If God did not spare them from suffering, why would we expect to be saved?

With respect to suffering, today’s lesson makes the following three points:

  1. God disciplines those that He loves,
  2. Going through adversity teaches us and allows us to mature spiritually,
  3. The sufferings of this lifetime pale in comparison to the glory that awaits inHeaven.  

We will look at each of these points in more detail beginning with point #1:

GOD DISCIPLINES THOSE THAT HE LOVES

The words, “God disciplines those that He loves,” are taken from Hebrews 12:6.   In fact, the entire twelfth chapter of the Book of Hebrews is full of inspired thoughts about why God disciplines us.   For today’s study, we will reference the following scripture:

  • “Let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” – Hebrews 12:1-2.

LIFE WILL TEST US

The Hebrew writer equates living our lives to running a race that requires endurance.   Life will test us.   We will get fatigued, and beaten down, and we will suffer setbacks.   Jesus did as well.   This is all part of God’s plan for us, and necessary for us to reach our full potential. Consider the following scripture:

  • “You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin; and you have forgotten the exhortation, which is addressed to you as sons, ‘My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by Him; for those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives.” – Hebrews 12:4-6.

In this scripture, the Hebrew writer points out that others have suffered worse than we have and warns us not to take the discipline of the Lord lightly.   If God has found it necessary to discipline us, we need to accept it, learn from it, and keep moving forward with our eyes on the prize of eternity in Heaven.

  • “He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness.” - Hebrews 12:10.

God wants us to be fully mature in our faith before we are judged.   Those that are faithful, by the grace of God, will spend eternity with God and Jesus in Heaven!  We need to accept God’s discipline if we are going to be ready for judgment day.     

GOING THROUGH ADVERSITY TEACHES US AND ALLOWS US TO MATURE SPIRITUALLY

In his letter to the Romans, Paul wrote:

  • “And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” – Romans 5:3-5.  

We cannot learn perseverance or develop proven character without first going through tribulations.   There is a saying, “A smooth sea, does not a sailor make.”   Hardships are necessary. Without them, we cannot fully mature in our faith. 

THE SUFFERINGS OF THIS LIFETIME PALE IN COMPARISON TO THE GLORY THAT AWAITS IN HEAVEN

Any suffering that we must endure on earth is temporary.  Compared to eternity in either Heaven or Hell, our time on earth is like a blink of an eye!   Paul understood this.   That is why he was able to endure what he did.  

Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans:  

  • “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” – Romans 8:18.

This scripture is meant to comfort us so that we can continue to endure and move forward.   When life challenges us, it is important to think about Heaven and the glory that awaits those who believe in Jesus.  

More than 2,000 years ago, Jesus went to prepare a home for His followers.   John captured the following words spoken by Jesus:  

  • “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.  In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.  If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” – John 14:1-3.

If God was able to create all the beauty that there is on earth in just six days, imagine how beautiful Heaven is going to be!

CONCLUSION

As Christians, we should never be surprised by suffering .   Paul did not mask the fact that Christians will suffer in his letter to the Thessalonians, and God does not hide it from us either.   When we are suffering, it is a blessing for us to remember three things:

  1. God disciplines those that He loves,
  2. Going through adversity teaches us and allows us to mature spiritually,
  3. The sufferings of this lifetime pale in comparison to the glory that awaits in Heaven.  

We will end today’s lesson with the following scripture of hope about the glory of Heaven:

  • “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” – Revelation 21:4.  

Comments

Bro. Johnny Bombeh Matobo Kamara

The teaching is very educative, and it has showed me that God disciplined those he love. So true for parents too discipline those they love not to go bad, but to grow up as discipline child.
God blessed you and keep up the good work faith.

Click To View The Discussion
Joe R

The lessons based on 1 Thessalonians 2 are essential to embracing life as Christians. It is an important reminder which is counter-cultural in that it reminds us that suffering is a given rather than something to be avoided or quickly relieved. For me, the points about perseverance and character only being gained and developed through trials is something I needed to receive today. In some ways, I think I have taken for granted the fact that my perspective on things has been shaped because God has heard my prayers when I have struggled in my life. The prayers were not answered instantly, but God has always been my strength when I am weak. I would be foolish to say that this is something that was easy to gain and develop. However, the struggles have truly transformed my life by drawing closer to Jesus and surrendering to God's will for my life rather than turning to quick fixes to cope with pain and suffering. I ask that God help me to listen and support brothers and sisters who are going through those painful experiences and point them to the Word of God for strength and refuge. I ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savoir. Amen.

Thank you for sharing this message today.

Reply
Joe R
Joe R

1 Thessalonians 3*

Reply
John
Joe R

Great to hear your thoughts Joe. Thanks for sharing them.

I was driving home from work tonight after a difficult shift.

This lesson immediately popped to my head and gave me the perspective I needed.

Reply
Bro. Johnny Bombeh Matobo Kamara

The teaching is very educative, and it has showed me that God disciplined those he love. So true for parents too discipline those they love not to go bad, but to grow up as discipline child.
God blessed you and keep up the good work faith.

Reply
William
Bro. Johnny Bombeh Matobo Kamara

Let us by the grace of God not only receive the discipline with patience but to also find cause to rejoice in the wonderful promises made to us for Eternity.

Reply
Ciara

This lesson benefited me so much really enjoyed it thank you so much

Reply
James Guillory
Ciara

Yes this lesson also benefited me much also I enjoyed it very much,it was a great lesson!! I'm going through a very difficult time in my life right now lot of pain, a lot of struggle, but it is the word of God that keeps my eyes focused on my hope which is Jesus! I love my Jesus!
Thank you for this lesson

Reply
Robert

Everything said in today’s lesson was really true and honestly i hope I remember that when I enter a bad situation because I can stress a lot sometimes

Reply
Dan

It’s important to have hope because hope does not make us ashamed. Hope keeps us from giving up!

Reply
Michael
Dan

Amen!

Reply