“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.
Hebrews 12:2 says that Jesus endured the cross, despised and ignored the shame for the joy that was set before Him and He is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God. He did not allow His own feelings, needs, and desires to get in the way of His destiny and His reward. Hebrews 5:8-9 says that although He was the Son of God, He learned obedience through what He suffered and this completed experience made Him perfectly equipped to became the Author and Source of eternal salvation to all those who hear and obey Him. Why do we think that it will be any different for any one of us? If Jesus was perfected through what He endured, then so will we be refined and perfected through what we endure.
God is not the author of sin, sickness, disease, lack or any other bad thing and they are not God’s perfect will for us – God’s perfect will for man was the peace and joy of the Garden of Eden. However, because we live on the earth, we are periodically exposed to these unpleasant things. We have the opportunity to be swallowed up and taken out by them or we can press in to God and His Word and can grow stronger. Even if the devil doesn’t manage to destroy some people by sickness or disease, he tries to destroy them slowly by causing them to become bitter and resentful toward God. God isn’t even their problem, but it suits them to blame Him and get mad at Him.
God has provided everything for us that we need and He gave us His Handbook, the Bible, so that we can find out the keys to get it all. If we lack any good thing – it is not God’s fault – it is because we either don’t know the Word or because we don’t act on the Word. We need to discipline ourselves to become obedient to the Spirit of God if we want to be blessed and if we want to prosper in every area of our life. A student who is not respectful to authority is a student who will not be able to learn what they need to learn. Proverbs 17:10 says that a reproof enters deeper into a man of understanding than a hundred lashes into a self-confident fool.
Hebrews 12:6-8 says that the Lord corrects and disciplines everyone He loves and He punishes the sons (and daughters) He accepts, welcomes to His heart and cherishes. You must submit to and endure God’s correction for discipline, because He is dealing with you as a father with his children. All true fathers train and correct and discipline all their true children. Only illegitimate children have no father to train them.
Those whom I dearly and tenderly] love, I tell their faults and convict and convince and reprove and chasten [I discipline and instruct them]. So be enthusiastic and in earnest and burning with zeal and repent [changing your mind and attitude]. Revelation 3:19 AMP
Moreover, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we yielded [to them] and respected [them for training us]. Shall we not much more cheerfully submit to the Father of spirits and so [truly] live? 10 For [our earthly fathers] disciplined us for only a short period of time and chastised us as seemed proper and good to them; but He disciplines us for our certain good, that we may become sharers in His own holiness. Hebrews 12:9-10 AMP
If earthly fathers train their children, correct them and even spank them when necessary – all for their good in the end – then shouldn’t we submit to our Heavenly Father’s correction and discipline? Shouldn’t we submit to the Word and to the Holy Spirit? Shouldn’t we put our flesh under and not let our flesh rule and control us? Shouldn’t we purge the sin from our lives and no longer allow it to manipulate us?
For the time being no discipline brings joy, but seems grievous and painful; but afterwards it yields a peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it [a harvest of fruit which consists in righteousness–in conformity to God’s will in purpose, thought, and action, resulting in right living and right standing with God]. Hebrews 12:11 AMP
Discipline is painful and unpleasant. However, the end result of a harvest of the peaceable fruit of righteousness is a priceless treasure. This fruit of peace is available only to those who have paid the price and have submitted their will to the will of God. Nothing can buy right standing with God – you have to submit to Him if you want His approval.
So then, brace up and reinvigorate and set right your slackened and weakened and drooping hands and strengthen your feeble and palsied and tottering knees, 13 And cut through and make firm and plain and smooth, straight paths for your feet [yes, make them safe and upright and happy paths that go in the right direction], so that the lame and halting [limbs] may not be put out of joint, but rather may be cured. Hebrews 12:12-13 AMP
You are in charge of your life and your choices. You must choose to stand up for Jesus, lay your life down on the altar, and run the race to win. Allow God to do His work in your heart and in your life until He is satisfied that you are ready and prepared for all that He has for you. There is a great and wonderful prize set before you – the wonderful joy of a life that is fulfilled and complete and at peace with God.