You Are A Work In Progress

though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.— Hebrews 5:8-9

Hebrews 12:2 says that Jesus is the “author and finisher of our faith.” That is, from first to last He is the perfect example of how we should live our lives by faith. If we have any question as to how we should live our lives, then we should look to Jesus first of all as an example of what to do.

Interestingly enough, if we look to Jesus as revealed in our verse for today, what we learn from His example is that the model of our faith had to suffer. Jesus’ life was a life that included suffering and His suffering was not gratuitous. It had a purpose. Through His suffering Jesus learned obedience. He learned how to remain obedient to God even though He was suffering. He learned not to use suffering as an excuse to disobey God’s plan for His life. He learned how to stand fast in faith through it all and obey God.

Further, we learn from Jesus’ example that His obedience to God needed to be perfected. Jesus, of course, lived in sinless perfection. However, He still needed to go through the sufferings He went through in order to become ready for His great task in life. Every experience He had and every suffering He endured prepared Him for the cross.

If the author and finisher of our faith needed to learn obedience through suffering, then how much more do we who are mere followers of His example need to learn obedience through suffering? Perhaps we need to look at the trials, troubles, and tribulations of life in a new light. Instead of complaining about them, perhaps we should consider them valuable experiences that qualify us for the tasks God has planned for us. If we go through these trying times in faith and obedience, then we will be ready for what God has in store for us.

You are a work in progress. You are being perfected by suffering for the tasks God planned for you from all eternity. You are working on your advanced degree in the specialty God thinks you are best suited for. Stand fast in faith, then, and learn obedience from what you are going through.

Monday Is For Testing Who We Are

Psalm 1:1-6

1 How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!

2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night.

3 He will be like a tree [firmly] planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers.

4 The wicked are not so, But they are like chaff which the wind drives away.

5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

6 For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the wicked will perish

This psalm supplies us with –

1. A Test of Our Character. A man is known by the company he keeps. What doest thou, O my soul? With whom dost thou “walk” and “sit’?

2. Rules for Our Life. What should we do? Surely the right thing is to ask counsel of God, and to submit ourselves to his holy and blessed rule. Let us do this, and we shall not only have life (Psalm 40:8), but food (John 4:44); and not only food, but society (Matthew 12:50); and not only society, but education (Psalm 143:10); and not only education, but joy unspeakable and full of glory (Psalm 119:651 Peter 1:8). “He that doeth the will of God abideth for ever” (1 John 2:16, 17).

3. A Foreshadow of Our Future. Acts fix habits, habits settle character, and character determines destiny. “The wind” may represent the various trials which meet us, and which so far show what we are and where we are going. By conscience, by public opinion, by experience of the results of conduct, we are given a view of the future of the coming end and the perfect judgment of God. Thus, not in an arbitrary way, but by our own deeds and life, our destiny is being settled. Eternity is the harvest of time. Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”