Have you learned?

Day 312

Prayer for the day

“May the God of peace make you perfect and holy; and may your spirit, life and body be kept blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Scripture for the day

Jeremiah 43-45, Hebrews 5

Isn’t it funny how two people can go through the same experience and come away with two (or more) very different lessons? What we learn is not necessarily based only on the experience we go through, but also on how we respond.

Jesus, says the writer of Hebrews, learned obedience through his suffering. That is not to say that Jesus was disobedient prior to suffering, but that Jesus’ response to suffering was to treat it as a learning experience for obedience. In everything he did, but especially through his suffering, Jesus learned obedience. It may not have led to an easy life for Jesus (in fact it certainly did not) but it did lead to a life lived in perfect obedience to the Father and His will. Jesus’ obedience in and through suffering models for Jesus’ followers how to proceed when the end is uncertain, the way dark, and life difficult. We live in obedience, driven to it by our suffering and by our desire to please God.

The people of Judah in Jeremiah’s day, however, decided that suffering should lead them to disobedience. They saw that disobedience was not always immediately punished, and so when they did suffer what they saw as punishment, they reasoned that obedience was the cause of their problems. While this may not be a HUGE logical leap for them, they did have one factor that was unconsidered: the voice of God, speaking to them through the prophets. How sad to watch the people ignore the voice that wants to save them, wants to love them, wants them to be fulfilled, joyful, and settled.

You may be going through suffering, or you may have yet to see it. Regardless, will you take the time to learn obedience through your suffering? Will you learn to lean on God?

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