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Obedience Learned Through Suffering

Posted by on in The Upward Call
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obedience 4When I begin to think about the things about Jesus that I appreciate the most, one of the first things I think about is that he understands my struggles and showed me how to finish the race without giving in to them.  Many times as I talk to people, they begin to talk about how much they have sacrificed for God, but when you begin to question them about the will of God as recorded in the Bible, they begin to show ignorance of God's commands.  For example, people will repeat arguments they have heard about instrumental music from others who say it is not a "salvation matter" or God doesn't say anything about not using instruments in Scripture.  However, they do not know the basis themselves about what God says about an issue like this. 

This is where the example of Jesus shines brightly for us as Christians.  In Hebrews 5:7-9, the writer says, "In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears to him, who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.  Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he sufferedAnd being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him." 

Being obedient is often much easier when obstacles are not placed in our way.  Decisions are clearer and it does not take as much commitment to God to obey him in these circumstances.  On the other hand, obedience is learned through suffering.  Until we complete the course, we are not made perfect or complete in our obedience.  Abraham could have said he was willing to sacrifice Isaac, but until he raised his hand and God had to stop him, he didn't really know what obedience was. 

The same is true of us.  We don't really begin to learn what obedience is until we trust in God like Jesus or Abraham did.  Abraham believed God could do what he promised, even if it was by raising him from the dead in order to fulfill His promise (Heb. 11:19).  This helped Abraham to understand what obedience to God meant; in the same way, we can learn what obedience to God means by the trials or struggles we encounter if we will remain faithful and trust in God as Jesus did.  This is the type of committed follower God is looking for.  Don't try to avoid suffering at all costs; instead, when suffering comes, let God perfect your obedience to him through this opportunity.


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