Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
Hebrews 12: 7-11 (NIV)
As wives and mothers, we sometimes experience hardship. Whether it be financial, physical or emotional weariness, chances are, we have all been there from time to time. I know that when I experience hardship, my first reaction is to throw myself a pity party. I feel like there is nothing I can do to escape the situation, and I pray to God to rescue me. Then I sit back and wait for God to show up and change my circumstances without any inward reflection.
Have you ever read a passage of scripture that you have read 100 times before, and then finally understand a truth that has literally been right before your eyes many times before? That happened to me this week while reading Hebrews 12. Endure hardship as discipline… But wait, discipline from who? From God. It is such a simple truth that I have overlooked many times before. I thought that hardship must come from Satan, as a direct result of the fallen world that we live in. This is not necessarily so.
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. Let not one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. The desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
Trials and hardship are from God for our sanctification. We are disciplined so that we may share in His holiness. Temptations on the other hand are from Satan or our carnal nature. When we are going through a trial, we should ask ourselves, What is God trying to teach me?
Instead of throwing myself a pity party during hardship, I should really dive into God’s Word. I should be open to change. I am often so set in my ways, whether it comes to my parenting skills, homeschooling schedule, or homemaking abilities. Sometimes through hardship I realize that I have been harboring a judgmental spirit towards others, or that I am holding myself in high regard, while in actuality I am nothing without Christ!
If we do not endure trials in our Christian walk, we can be assured that we are not children of God! From the passage from Hebrews above, If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. This sounds quite different than the “gospel” some preach, doesn’t it?
Sometimes trials and hardship come when the Lord is asking me to remove something from my life that is keeping me from righteousness. I can look back over the past 10 years, and see God’s hand on my life during many trials and hardships. My life now is still far from perfect, but it looks so different than it once was. At this moment, we are making some changes in our family for Christ. We are removing broadcast television from our home, praise God. I am contemplating making some changes in my small at-home business that would affect our family’s income, but would hopefully be more glorifying to God! Dear friends, these changes are hard. They feel like a sacrifice, but I have such peace that these changes are needful in our family at the moment. I do not want anything to hinder our relationship with the Lord. Take heart if you are weary and feel broken. Trust in the Lord, and willfully give yourself to Him. Be open to change. He alone can shape us to be the wives and mothers that He has called us to be.