“…and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, “MY son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by Him;’

There is a concept in our current religious mindset that anything negative that happens to us proceeds from either the devil or a kind of fate independent from God’s intervention.  This passage quotes from Proverbs 3: “My son, do not reject the discipline of the Lord or loathe His reproof, for whom the Lord loves He reproves, even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.”

We would have little respect for our military forces — and they would not be worthy of respect — if their commanders did not impose incredible amounts of training and discipline in their development. Why do we think that our Father, who desires to train us to reign and rule for all eternity would not utilize circumstances and situations to discipline and train us?

C.H. Spurgeon puts it this way:  ”God’s people will have their trials. It was never designed by God, when he chose his people, that they should be an untested people. They were chosen in the furnace of affliction; they were never chosen to worldly peace and earthly joy. Freedom from sickness and the pains of mortality was never promised them; but when their Lord drew up the charter of privileges, he included discipline and trials among the things to which they should inevitably be heirs. Trials are a part of our lot; they were predestined for us in Christ’s last legacy. So surely as the stars and planets are fashioned by his hands, and their orbits established by him, so surely are our trials allotted to us: he has ordained their season and their place, their intensity and the effect they shall have upon us. Good people must never expect to escape troubles; if they do, they will be disappointed, for none of their predecessors have been without them.”

Some trials are simply the implementation to the Biblical principle of sowing and reaping as stated in Galatians 6: If we plant seed in spiritual endeavors, we will likely be rewarded with spiritual blessing, and if we sow to our own desires, we will experience corruption.  We get what we paid for; we are “reaping what we sowed.”

But some trials — even extreme ones — are purposed for our development. It been said that whatever doesn’t kill us will make us stronger (not exactly true in the natural order of things) but the trials that God puts us through are designed to strengthen us.

This section of Hebrews 12 speaks at length to the subject of discipline, but this introduction to the issue flows from the previous verse, encouraging us not to discount the circumstances and situations testing us, and to remain strong in the face of those wearisome trials.  They may not seem fair; they may not BE fair. No one ever promised us fairness, but we are guaranteed justice.  Our trials are not to be discounted as “fate” or cause us to faint; they have a divine purpose.