“We don’t enjoy being disciplined. It always seems to cause more pain than joy. But afterwards, those who learn from that discipline have peace that comes from doing what is right. Strengthen your tired arms and weak knees.”
— Hebrews 12:11-12
FAITH is a landmark state of action where striding is not contained because of a lack of seen hope. Faith contends, even where evidence for contention against faith is evident. Faith ensures there is fuel for the fire even when the embers are almost cold. Faith comes into its own when we feel at odds with life; when it seems God is disciplining us.
We can take it that way if we want; that God is disciplining us; that he’s allowing us to be tested. Indeed, if we can conceptualize that as something not foreign to God’s love for us we will prosper.
Never Losing Sight of What Comes – Afterwards
“... at a later or succeeding time,” is part of the definition of the word, afterward. When we never lose sight of what’s coming afterward – after the discipline, after the pain, before the joy, while life is on hold – we stand half a chance of being blessed with peace for doing what was right in the eyes of the Lord.
That is how righteousness and peace are linked (see, for instance, Psalm 85:10: 72:7; Isaiah 32:17; James 3:18).
When we keep doing what is right, despite the things we are missing out on and risk losing, peace is what we ultimately stand to gain.
What possibly comes afterward for the person set on a long-term prize (ultimately, a crown in heaven)? It is peace for the journey from God. When we are totally sold on the Kingdom value of a faith action – to leave concern for pain behind, or to bear the pain in some way that’s meaningful – we are blessed with peace, because God convinces us that what we are doing is right. And when we have that assurance – that what we do is right – we are totally prepared to receive whatever comes, in faith.
By the acquisition of peace for the inner sanctity of doing what is right we have strength for tired arms and weak knees.
Afterward: reap in joy later by sowing in faith now. Afterward comes fruit.
When we sow in doing what is right we reap in ever increasing portions of peace. That’s the prize for faith: to do what is right in a vacuum of hope. The peace that comes from going the right way fuels faith in the absence of hope. See how even in hopelessness faith is a great ally?
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.