14 Nov 2018
A Bed of Roses
Today we are going to consider our scripture reading from Hebrews. The beginning of Hebrews 12 is very precious to me, as it was given to me the night my mother passed on to be among the great cloud of witnesses. By disregarding the chapter heading we can better appreciate the flow the author intended us to see.
The verses in Hebrews 11 couldn’t be clearer. Life as a follower of Christ is not meant to be a bed of roses, unless we count all the thorns, in which case it could well be! Martyrdom is a reality. Persecution is a given, whether physical or verbal. A comfortable, trouble-free existence is not how it is meant to be. However, Christ promised us a faith-filled, joyful, abundant life.
In Hebrews 12, the encouragement, the exhortation and the joy shine out like beacons on a hilltop.
Hebrews 12:12-13 says:
“Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.”
We may feel down at times and suffer abuse, persecution, sickness and even death, but our lives are not rooted in this earthly kingdom. Our lives are rooted in Christ alone, and in His heavenly kingdom. Thinking that following Christ will be an easy road is foolhardy, and it will end in tears. But facing trials and God’s chastening, knowing that “…afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it” (Hebrews 12:11), makes all our troubles pale into insignificance.
Pause and reflect: “Father God, let us always accept Your will for each day of our lives, wherever that may lead. Let us continually remember what You suffered so that we might live abundant and joyful lives. Amen.”