STANDING STRONG THROUGH THE STORM


STANDING STRONG THROUGH THE STORM

ENDURE HARDSHIP AS
DISCIPLINE
=============================
Endure hardship as discipline;
God is treating you as his children. For what
children are not disciplined by
their father?…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

As we see in Hebrews chapter
twelve, once we “keep our eyes fixed on Jesus,”
we will be aware of how we
should then live. Now he teaches us about the value
of hardships and
discipline that does not seem helpful but in the end produces
a harvest of
righteousness and peace.

Alexander was on his first research trip to Cuba
for Open Doors. He asked a
Cuban pastor what his needs were. He expected the
response to itemize the many
material needs that the churches in Cuba
obviously lacked.

“The first thing we need is your prayers,” he replied,
“to know the Body of
Christ is with us.” Then he went on to list their
tremendous need for Bibles,
teaching aids, Sunday school materials and
printing supplies. Then he
concluded with the statement that they could use
anything and everything. “If
you send us just a bar of soap, we’ll be
grateful,” he confessed. “We’ll
praise God for it!”

Alexander says, “I
felt a big lump in my throat as I thought of all the
Bibles, literature and
freedoms I enjoyed. Yet even with all my blessings, my
testimony was not as
strong. So I struggled to articulate my feelings.
‘Pastor,’ I said, ‘I can
only begin to sense and imagine the difficulties you
have
encountered.’”

The pastor’s eyes became misty and he softly responded,
“Oh yes brother, we
have been through the most difficult years. Yet we don’t
fear persecution. As
a matter of fact, we welcome it because it purifies
us!”

Freddie Sun spent years in prison in China because of his Christian
faith.
Prison was literally a trial of fire for him. He worked in a factory
making
tee-joints from pig iron. Every day he loaded and unloaded the furnace
which
fired up to 2700 degrees Fahrenheit. In the midst of this hell on
earth, God
spoke to him. “I have put you in this high-temperature furnace.
Don’t
worry—you won’t melt. But your impurities will be removed so you can
become a
useful tee-joint!”

RESPONSE: Today I will receive God’s
discipline with the awareness that it is
refining me to be more like
Jesus.

PRAYER: Lord help me to accept hardship as Your discipline for my
life. I look
forward to the harvest of righteousness and peace.

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