Don’t lose heart

Since we’re surrounded by such a great crowd of witnesses, let’s throw off every item that entangles us and any sin that trips us up, and run with perseverance the race that’s set before us. Let’s keep our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.

For the joy that was before him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he’s seated at the right hand of God’s throne. Think about how he endured the hostility of those wicked people, and then you won’t become weary and lose heart.

In your struggle against sin, you haven’t yet had to shed your blood. And you mustn’t forget the encouragement that’s given in the passage which speaks to you as a father speak to his child. For it says, “My child, don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline, and don’t lose heart when he corrects you. For the Lord disciplines those whom he loves, and corrects everyone he accepts as his child.”

As you endure discipline, remember that God is treating you as his children. What child who is never disciplined by his father? So, if God doesn’t discipline you – as he does all of his children – it means you’re illegitimate and are not a true child at all. We all respected our earthly fathers when they disciplined us, so how much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live?

Our earthly fathers disciplined us for a short time, doing the best that they could. But God  disciplines us for our good, so we can share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant while it’s happening – it’s painful – but later it yields a harvest of integrity to those who are taught by it.

So lift up those tired hands and strengthen those weak knees. Make level paths for your feet, so what’s injured won’t fail, but instead may be healed.


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