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A letter to Hebrews (Part 4): Hebrews 11–13

Tough times can be the result of God, our heavenly father, smoothing off some of the rough edges in our lives.

The Bible calls this God’s discipline (quoting from Proverbs 3):

Hebrews 12:5-6 … My child, don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline, and don’t give up when he corrects you.
For the Lord disciplines those he loves,
and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.

We should treat this discipline as a blessing:

Hebrews 12:8-9 If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all. Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever?

Even if it’s not fun at the time:

Hebrews 12:10-11 … God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.

In this way, we can defeat the sin that ‘trips us up’:

Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.