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PGA Chaplain Bible Studies

Weekly Bible Study - Study 46 - Hebrews Chapter 12:3-6
- Not giving up

 “Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you may not grow weary and lose heart. In your struggle against sin, you have not resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons; “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son” (Hebrews Ch 12: verses 3 to 6)(New International Version)

Not giving up!

Life is such a challenge! Most of us try to be successful in life, but end up finding that it’s harder than we think. This week I will be speaking to about 50 Trainee golf professionals about my role as a chaplain. They are just starting their apprenticeship with the PGA and some will get a shock just how hard it will be! Working in a shop, doing assignments, playing competitively among their peers each week are just some of the challenges they will face.

Just this week I have made a commitment to start practicing golf. Prior to this I have been under the false illusion that I could improve without hard work. Lack of time and laziness contributed to no practise, but life teaches us you mostly get out of something what you put in.

Jesus is the great example of endurance and not giving up; even though the end was humiliation and death on the cross. There are so many times in life when we feel like giving up. It could be a relationship, work, golf, your marriage, trying to lose weight and even our faith! When hardships and suffering come, the real test of our character begins.

In our reading this week those following Jesus were going through some serious hardships on account of their faith. We have already learnt in Chapter 10: verses 32-34 that some were subject to imprisonment, loss of property and public ridicule for following Jesus.

In this setting it is easy to understand why some were considering giving their faith away. Why hold to something that means so much suffering? However the reality of life is that suffering and hardship follows us wherever we go, so we need to find ways to not give up, but to grow and persevere.

We are called not to grow weary or lose heart, but to keep going like an athlete running a marathon or a boxer getting beaten in the ring. When we persevere and not give in we often find that we grow stronger and fitter. This is not to say that sometimes in life we should give up, because that is the best thing to do, but this is never the case with our faith, no matter how hard or difficult we may be suffering.

Our author places such struggles, sufferings and hardships within the sphere of God’s care and discipline. Many find this idea difficult to accept and resolve, but am I happy to accept and trust God in this respect. We are the children of God and as such need to be disciplined just like we do with our children. The best we can do is not give up and trust God with everything else.

Prayer. Heavenly Father, Help me to accept suffering and hardships as your discipline knowing your love as a parent is always there.  Amen.

 

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