Tuesday, August 22, 2006

... for whom the Lord loveth, he chasteneth ...

No chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous; nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. Hebrews 12:11

My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord ... for whom the Lord loveth, he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. Hebrews 12: 5-6

Though he were a son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; and having been made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him. Hebrews 5:8-9.

It is easy to claim that Hebrews is the only book written by Paul. After all, it is a complex midrash and Paul claims to have had a classic mainline Jewish education. Hebrews is exactly the book you would expect from someone who has described his life story the way Paul does.

It is also easy, perhaps, to take Hebrews too far. To see all trials as gifts from God that make us perfect, rather than as reflects of an imperfect world, and to see Christ as "having been made perfect" (in the sense of "complete" or "finished" or even "perfect") by his suffering.

But there is some wisdom there, a sense of perspective and of warning, that takes me beyond what I know and cautions me to have hope, and patience and to remember in all things I can find God's love.


BrianJ said...

Inspiring thoughts. How do you know whether the trial is from God or from the imperfect world? I am inclined to answer that it really doesn't matter--hope and patience, as you indicate, are what matter.

annegb said...

Sometimes I wish God didn't love me quite so much.

Although, I don't think I would trade the insight I have for anything, now. I wouldn't go through it again, but now that I've earned my stripes, I feel superior to those who haven't suffered. How can they have a clue to the joys of life, to its intricacies, to real experience?

Anonymous said...

Just some final thanks, Stephen. You've given me wisdom here from ethesis and there is much more here I may not comprehend for decades. Hope and patience have been the mainstay of my life these months, albeit to a lesser degree than what you and others have had to have, what with the extended waiting period for my mission. I finally go in to the MTC tomorrow.

Farewell Marshes, Farewell.

Lisa M. said...

Here here to what Annegb said.

Sometimes I can't find God's love, in all things. Later, after the heat, I find wisdom and strength and renewed love, but... it is a different expression.

Tigersue said...

Interesting that I was reading the same thing in D&C the other day.
I actually love the book of Hebrews, it is one of my favorites to read along with the books writen by John. I wonder why that is?

Anyway, I heard something the other day that trials were to help us be grateful for all things. I'm not sure I can be grateful for trials, but perhaps I have become more grateful as I have gone through them. I also can say I used to put myself down because I have not had the trials that others have had, that was wrong. We all have our own forms of suffering, and our own forms of trial. Just because some are different does not mean another's suffering is greater or harder. There is only one person that fits that category and he is our Savior. Everything else is individual and personal. Some people don't talk about the pain and hardship they go through. It does not make them any less than another.