The Tabernacle Scroll

Issue 73

"Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons…No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it”. (Heb. 12:7, 11, emphasis mine)

Everyone is looking for peace. The demands, changes and frustrations of living at break-neck pace in a fast changing world put many in ‘overload’ mode.

Many of the stresses we face come from our own desires to own or possess things, from what people think about us or expect of us, and from our own performance expectations. These stresses are not God-produced stresses, but are the result of our own desires to have or to prove something. The real root of all these types of stresses is discontentment. The only antidote for this sort of stress is Paul’s recipe in 1 Tim. 6:6-8.- contentment. Repentance brings the desired result!

But there are stresses that are God induced. Think about it. Pray earnestly for humility and before you know it someone is challenging your knowledge or authority! Having problems with anger? God brings the most irritating and rude person into your life to teach you self-control. You want to be more loving? He brings some of the most unloving and selfish people into your life! The reason? Unbelievable though it may seem, God knows that the right attitude towards the hardships we face can actually produce His peace within us. Stresses come in the form of hardships and corrections, and God uses both circumstances and people to teach us valuable lessons. Stresses can cripple us or mould us suitably. We choose!

We can learn the truth of this principle by looking at some examples from the natural world. The diamond would not be produced without the enormous pressure that has been exerted on a piece of coal over an extended period of time. Likewise the pearl would never come into existence but for that irritating grain of sand under the Oyster’s shell. Gardeners know that without pruning (sometimes harshly), fruit trees will produce little or bad quality fruit. In our lives, pressures, irritations and correction serve the same purpose-to refine, strengthen and produce the best in us.

Get the point? When I’m talking about personal peace I do not mean the elimination of stress. I’m talking about the peace of God that passes all understanding; about the peace that God gives, in contrast to the peace that the world offers. How do we get it? Firstly, repentance (where necessary) and secondly by accepting the hardships and corrections sent by God as training (i.e., discipline).

            Devotional                                                                                                                            Preach The Word The Word with Pastor Joseph Rodrigues