Learning Obedience

Hebrews 5:8
Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered.

Yesterday I was reading a chapter in John Piper’s book The Passion of Jesus Christ on the reasons why Christ came to die and he began it based on this verse. It was a bit of a duh moment for me, or a Mark Moment for those of you familiar with that phrase. It was one of those moments where you realize something that has always been true and that you probably have already known. This time it was a moment where the Holy Spirit used the Word of God to show me the practicalness of a simple biblical truth. Although there are complex theological issues in this verse it was the simple truth that hit me, the perfect Savior learned obedience through suffering. As I applied that it made suffering and difficulty much clearer. Suffering is not a bad thing, it is what God uses to make us obedient and fit for heaven. Suffering is not punishment, it is the means by which God makes us suited to bring Him glory. For me this makes it easier to count all trials as joy! It also shows the importance of obedience in the Christian’s life. Although we are completely saved by the once for all sacrifice of Christ, that sacrifice and suffering must produce in us obedience or else our salvation is not real. The Christian life is quite simple, Trust and Obey. However, my sin tends to make it quite difficult. Therefore, I need my gourds blasted!
I asked the Lord that I might growIn faith, and love, and every grace;Might more of His salvation know,And seek, more earnestly, His face.
’Twas He who taught me thus to pray,And He, I trust, has answered prayer!But it has been in such a way,As almost drove me to despair.
I hoped that in some favored hour,At once He’d answer my request;And by His love’s constraining pow’r,Subdue my sins, and give me rest.
Instead of this, He made me feelThe hidden evils of my heart;And let the angry pow’rs of hellAssault my soul in every part.
Yea more, with His own hand He seemedIntent to aggravate my woe;Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,Blasted my gourds, and laid me low.
Lord, why is this, I trembling cried,Wilt thou pursue thy worm to death?“’Tis in this way, the Lord replied,I answer prayer for grace and faith.
These inward trials I employ,From self, and pride, to set thee free;And break thy schemes of earthly joy,That thou may’st find thy all in Me.”

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