1 Thessalonians 3. Forum Discussion

God disciplines those that He loves

The more that we study the Bible, the more we understand that suffering and affliction are a normal part of a Christian’s life.  The Bible is clear that adversity is one of the tools that God uses to shape us and to teach us.  God wants us to experience affliction.   

Jesus’ life was full of adversity from the moment He was born, and as we know, it did not get any easier. Paul suffered greatly also. If God did not spare them from suffering, we should not expect that He will spare us. That may not be what we want to hear, but it is what we need to hear.

There are three things to keep in mind about suffering that we will cover in today’s lesson:

  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 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. The entire twelfth chapter of the Book of Hebrews is full of inspired thoughts about why God disciplines us:

  • Hebrews 12:1-2, “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. ”  The Hebrew writer gives us several calls to action in the above scripture. We are told to do away with whatever sinful life we are currently living and to pursue something much more important. We are told to keep our eyes on the prize of eternity in heaven and follow Jesus.  The Hebrew writer equates living our lives to running a race that requires endurance. Life will test us. We will get fatigued, beaten down, and suffer setbacks. Jesus did as well. There is an interesting expression found in Hebrews 12:2, “The joy set before Him.”  There is nothing joyous about dying from asphyxiation on a cross. The Joy that Jesus experienced was the Joy that He felt when He reconciled us with His Father. Before Jesus, our inability to follow the Law separated us from God. Jesus knew that the suffering that He would have to endure would lead to glorious days ahead for many.

  • Hebrews 12:3, “For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”  When we are being disciplined by God, we need to remember that we are not the first to be disciplined, and we will not be the last. God has a plan for each of us, just as He did for Jesus. If we fight through the hard times and keep God as the priority in our lives, heaven awaits!

  • Hebrews 12:4,“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.”  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.

  • Hebrews 12:10, “He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness."  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 allow God to use discipline to work in our lives so that we will be ready for the day of judgment.

GOING THROUGH ADVERSITY TEACHES US AND ALLOW US TO MATURE SPIRITUALLY

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 an old saying, “A smooth sea, does not a sailor make.” Without hardships, we cannot have the mature faith that God wants each of us to possess.

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

Whatever suffering we endure on earth will not last forever. Compared to eternity in either heaven or hell, our time on earth is extremely short. Paul understood this. That is why he was able to endure what he did. And that is why God wanted to make sure we have His inspired word, so that we would understand.

In Romans 8:18, Paul said, “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.”

More than 2,000 years ago, Jesus went to prepare a home for His followers. He said in John 14:1-3:

“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.

Heaven is going to be more glorious than any of us can imagine. The Book of Revelation says in Revelation 21:4, “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.” All of life’s suffering is going to be worth it. That is why we cannot give up when things get hard.

In conclusion:

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

Thank you for joining us today. Please join us again tomorrow as we look at trying to be more like Jesus. May God’s blessings be upon you until then. Amen

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.

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

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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

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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

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

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Dan

Amen!

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Virtual Bible Study

Why is it important to have hope?

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Pat Dermody
Virtual Bible Study

Hope helps us deal with life’s adversities and helps us manage stress and anxiety. It helps us link past and present to the future and seek and wait for the proverbial “light at the end of the tunnel “. Hope can motivate us to action rather than sitting around in despair. Hope is rooted in faith as we entrust ourselves to God. Thank God for hope!

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