I want to share something that I’ve been studying and meditating on in the past few weeks and I hope it’s an encouragement to whoever reads it.
I started really diving in to Hebrews in December. And I got a little stuck in chapter 5:8-10:
Although he (Jesus) was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.
My thoughts about Jesus for my whole life have been in regards to his perfection so this threw me off a bit. The Bible talks a lot about his sinless nature. But equating being sinless with being perfect is maybe something that I haven’t had a grasp on. This passage indicates that he had to learn. That he learned through the things he suffered. But he was also made perfect through those sufferings and only then could he be the source of eternal salvation. My point is that Jesus as a baby wasn’t ready to be the ultimate sacrifice for our sins not just because of his age but because he hadn’t become what he needed to be in order to be our salvation.
I realize that I’m teetering (barging?) into theologians territory. I’m not Paul, I don’t read Karl Barth. I’m just a girl that wants to understand what in the world Paul (if Paul did, in fact, write Hebrews. It would be more correct to say the writer) means and a way to apply it to my life. Then I’m going to cook dinner.
When I write I try to keep it personal. As in, “I do this or I was convicted about that”. I’m not trying to drag anybody down with me. If someone draws their own parallel or thinks, “hey, I do that too”, then that’s fine but I do my best to not tell you my faults and then add “but don’t we all do that”. Because it’s entirely possible that you never do what I do. Today though I’m going to make this much less about me and much more about you because most people need encouragement.
Jesus learned obedience through what he suffered and by that suffering and subsequent obedience, he was made perfect for his mission on this planet which resulted in our being able to be saved. I think that’s the nuts and bolts of it.
How does that apply to you? And I promise, I say this with all humility and love…the things you are now suffering and the obedience that you learn will make you perfect for your mission on this planet.
A professor in college once asked our class of future ministers of music, “What do you do in the down time? The time between God telling you what to do and the actual fulfillment of that”. We were young, early twenties at best and tried to come up with great answers. But the truth is we hadn’t lived it yet. We hadn’t walked it out. I’m pretty sure none of us said that we’d spend that time dying to ourselves. Or that we’d be discouraged and hurt and at times doubtful and fearful. Nobody said that we’d be betrayed by people or feel betrayed by God. Nobody said that they’d be lied to or mistreated or any of the other things that happen to real humans.
But those are the things that refine us. We suffer as He suffered. Anybody that tells you anything different is selling you a bill of goods.
I know this:
James 1:2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
It’s really difficult to rejoice over a trial when it feels like you have a knife in your heart or your back. When you’ve waited for years for a husband but your intended hasn’t shown up yet. Or he did show up and then abandoned you. Or you don’t know where the provision is that you have expected or been promised. Or the job. Or the ministry. Or life is just so difficult because of the choices that others have made that affect your life in ways that you couldn’t have anticipated. Dreams have died and you don’t know what in the world you’re supposed to do.
The only dreams that die are the ones that are supposed to. Sometimes they die and are resurrected. Your husband will come. The provision will be there. Relationships will be mended. When it’s time.
I can say all of that with certainty because every one of those things and more have happened to me. I don’t write from a lofty position of one who has never suffered. I’ve been abused, abandoned, mistreated, lied to, betrayed, unloved and felt the sting of not having enough and I can tell you that there is healing. There is enough. There is wholeness in a way that you could not have imagined. I can say with love and compassion that whatever God has put in your heart will come to pass…when it’s time.