In our church’s study of the book of Hebrews, my assignment was the question, “What do we learn about suffering from this book?” If you wish, you can access that message here:
In our second installment we saw Principle #2 – God used suffering to perfect the Pioneer of our salvation! (2:10). We then asked the question, “How dare I resist His using suffering to perfect me?!”
The third principle we saw in the book of Hebrews was: Principle #3: Remembering our sufferings brings believers together to support & encourage each other! The question we asked was: How dare I waste my suffering by forgetting the past or not standing with those suffering in the present?!
The fourth principle from the book of Hebrews on suffering was: Principle #4: Experiencing loss focuses our longing on the next life’s better and lasting possessions! (10:34) And the question we asked was: “How dare I allow myself to be captivated by this world’s stuff?!”
Today’s principle is simply this: Principle #5: Suffering loss in this world should not dampen our confidence in the rich rewards of the next world! (10:35). We get that principle from verse 35 which says, “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.”
If you’re like me, there is a lot of stuff you simply need to throw away! Or at least donate to Good Will. What we don’t want to throw away is our confidence in the rich rewards of the next world! The idea of God giving His faithful servants rewards seems scoffed at by some super-spiritual saints, but the Bible teaches that encouraging concept. The question we asked regarding this principle is: How dare I act like a pagan and give all my attention to this world and its things?!
When you or I focus our primary attention on the world and its things, we look exactly like the pagan world around us. Jesus speaks in Matthew 6 about prayer and says, “So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
Are you running? For things in this world — or the next?