Hebrews 12:1 – Verse of the Day 3/16/13
This verse opens a discussion of God’s discipline that takes up the bulk of Hebrews 12. Although we might naturally assume that discipline is an unwanted burden, the author of Hebrews teaches that it is given as a means to test and strengthen believers in maturity. This verse utilizes an athletic metaphor that is one of Paul’s favorites (see also 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, Philippians 2:16, and 2 Timothy 2:5, 4:7-8) in order to emphasize “endurance,” something only possible for the believer who has built up spiritual stamina through a consistent regiment of God’s discipline. Just as discipline is necessary for athletic success, God uses it to strengthen Christians as well.
When you experience difficult circumstances do you perceive them as a burden or a blessing? The scriptures do not teach the “goodness” of all circumstances, but they do teach that God works all things – even hard things – for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28). Spend some time in prayer thanking him for the trials in your life, and asking for the strength to persevere through them in order to “run the race” well.