And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says, 'My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline, and do not lose heart when He rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and He chastens everyone He accepts as His son.' Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as His children.
Hebrews 12:5-7 (NIV)
Hard days have hit the land of plenty, and people are scared. Millions of God's children are suffering in America's recession--losing jobs and homes. If fervent Christians are hit, are they out of God's favor? No, they are right in it. God is treating them as beloved sons and daughters.
He's growing them up. They are being weaned from the easy life, easy work, and easy milk of a child. 'I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it' (1 Corinthians 3:2). God's children destined for the most important jobs on earth are being fed the hard lessons of adults. They're in God's 'Officer Training School.'
'No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it' (Hebrews 12:11). They are being strengthened and refined for leadership in God's army. The world is in a state of transition. Redistribution is beginning. His stars are being prepared.
The wisest millionaires in this world begin their privileged sons at the bottom of the corporate ladder. They join their father's business in the mailroom or an entry-level position. They do not begin as executives. How much wiser and richer than any man is God? He is the Father of wisdom and wealth. Therefore, His sons and daughters should rejoice in hard days.
'Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials' (James 1:2).
Remember Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Esther, David, and Jesus. You're in the best company. Hard days are a ticket to greatness. If fact, you should receive congratulations: a hard and joyful pat on the back.