Suffering: endure your trials as discipline

For the past few days I haven’t been able to get around easily because my wheelchair controller is fried. All of a sudden it just wouldn’t turn on. The new controller has been ordered and the tech at the company hopes to install it before the weekend.  It is a little bit more than inconvenient right now. I need to be pushed around on manual.

The Lord spoke to me in today’s first reading:

In your struggle against sin
you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood.
You have also forgotten the exhortation addressed to you as children:
My son, do not disdain the discipline of the Lord
or lose heart when reproved by him;
for whom the Lord loves, he disciplines;
he scourges every son he acknowledges.

Endure your trials as “discipline”;
God treats you as his sons.
For what “son” is there whom his father does not discipline?
At the time, all discipline seems a cause not for joy but for pain,
yet later it brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness
to those who are trained by it.

– Hebrews 12

To endure my trials as a discipline, discipline that will later bear good things.  Before I knew what the reading was today, I heard another verse on TV:

…this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison

-2 Corinthians 4:17

It is one of my favorites.  Right now, all discipline seems a cause not for joy but for pain. It’s having the eternal perspective, knowing that there will be a reward at the end of it, that gives us cause for joy and reason to keep persevering.  Yesterday in  the reading from Hebrews, the author encourages us to:

persevere in running the race that lies before us
while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus,
the leader and perfecter of faith.
For the sake of the joy that lay before him
Jesus endured the cross, despising its shame,
and has taken his seat at the right of the throne of God.

-Hebrews 12

Jesus has run the race and won—he endured the cross for the sake of the joy that lay before him.  He took our human nature and lived our life with all its suffering. We can unite our sufferings to his so that we might know his joy. He shows us the way to the finish line and he is the Way to the finish line and he is the finish line! Those who have been baptized into Christ have entered into identification with him.

So, dear blog reader, please pray for me as I pray for you that we might persevere to the end— where there will be no more suffering but only unending joy.

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