Where do you look in times of trouble? (Hebrew 12)
We all know what trouble feels or looks like. Whether it’s because of the struggle from our own sins or the sins of others against us, or from living in a world stained with tears, shame or hurt; no one really escapes from suffering. Trouble is painful and often, the pain becomes so intense that it is all we see or talk about. Have you ever been there yourself?
In the midst of all the pain, we may begin to wonder whether God has stopped loving us – and that thought in itself brings the greatest pain. After all, if God really did love us, he wouldn’t allow us to suffer, would he?
In Hebrews 12, the author directs us to look away from our troubles and doubt it creates and to look up to “Jesus, the founder and perfector of our faith” (Heb 12:2). He has already done everything necessary for the father to welcome us as his own. With this, we can confidently believe that he continues to love us – even amid our troubles.
When we look to Jesus, what do we see? A Savior who knows by experience everything there is to know about suffering. Jesus, the founder of our salvation, was made “perfect through suffering” (2:10). The Sinless one, who never did anything that needed correction, suffered on our behalf throughout his entire life, and most particularly when he bore all of God’s wrath for all our sin on Calvary.
Whatever you’re facing today, if you’re a believer, you can be assured of this: You are not being punished for sin. No, Jesus bore all of God’s wrath for all your sin (1 John 4:10). Your suffering may indeed be part of God’s kind discipline, or he may be teaching you more about his ability to satisfy you, or more about how his love can sustain you in trouble. But one thing is certain: He hasn’t stopped loving you. In fact, His discipline is proof of His love for you (Heb 12:8). Look to your Savior. He knows and loves you.