Hebrews 2 Devotion Sharing

Submitted by Yumi Kim, Gracepoint Berkeley

What can we learn about God from the fact that God “for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering?”

From the fact that God, “for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of our salvation perfect through suffering,” I can learn that God does not spare us of suffering. Even for Jesus, the author of our salvation, God did not spare him of suffering because there was something about suffering that had a redeeming quality, which was absolutely and essentially necessary for the work of salvation.  Jesus had to suffer and die for our sins, to taste death for everyone (v. 9), to pay the penalty of my sins and go to hell and back for me – and as he did so, he ushered in salvation and an eternal hope to me and to every sinner.  So even though God is all powerful, and completely loving, He did not spare His own son of suffering because it was necessary and essential to save sinners. Often, our world tells us that love is to be kind, to be nice, to protect and shield from suffering.  But, this worldview is utterly flawed because we live in a world where people are lost, where there is sin and decay.  God’s love, zeal and longing for his lost sons and daughters drives Him to suffer in order to bring them to salvation, and He actually desires for us to participate in that work with Him, with Jesus – to suffer for the sake of bringing lost people salvation. 

Further, I can learn that God actually uses suffering to perfect our faith.  There is a redeeming quality about suffering – for Jesus, through suffering, he paid the full penalty of our sins, and not only that, but because he himself suffered, he is able to help us when we are tempted (v. 18) and act as our great high priest who intercedes for us (Heb. 4:14-16).  For us, His children who have been saved, as we also participate in suffering for the sake of the Gospel, sharing in God’s heart for His lost children, we are able to stretch, grow and be perfected in our faith – the Gospel becomes clearer, God’s heart becomes more real and personal, and we become molded into people after His own heart.

What are some concrete ways I can participate in the work of salvation through suffering? Are there some evasive maneuvers I employ to avoid suffering?

There are many concrete ways that I can participate in the work of salvation through suffering.  Even though I’m in America with such luxuries and where there is little persecution, I can remember my brothers and sisters throughout the world who are suffering – missionaries suffering in the Middle East, Tashkent, Cambodia, my brothers and sisters in China who are enduring persecution, the victims of the flooding in Pakistan, and even my precious friends who have taken steps of faith by going out to plant churches in Taiwan, Austin, TX, Minneapolis, MN, Riverside, San Diego.  I can participate in the work of salvation through faithfully crying out and participating a little bit in their suffering.  I can also participate in the work of salvation through “suffering” by being faithful to love the people right here in my mist – to take small steps of faith by fighting my insecurities and fears especially as I get older and have this big stomach as a pregnant lady (!) by reaching out to the precious freshmen who have descended upon the Berkeley campus, to not hold back in fully owning and loving the people God has entrusted to me to take care of, to notice the needs of not only those in my immediate sphere of concern, but in our broader church.

Some evasive maneuvers that I employ to avoid suffering are that I do not allow my heart to be fully broken over people’s sins, wanting to protect a little bit of my own emotions and the hurt that I feel from relational misunderstandings or disappointments.  I do not allow my heart to feel the full brunt of their sin and be fully broken and identify with the girls who are struggling under me, which is so far from the heart of Jesus who took on the full weight of my sins.  Another way that I employ evasive maneuvers is through my own ignorance, of being purposefully blind to the full extent of people’s sins and sufferings, of not having knowledge.

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