Heb. 5:7,8 says, "who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered." In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus faced His impending suffering and death. With strong cries and tears so intense that great drops of blood formed on His skin and fell to the ground, He prayed to His Father asking if there was another way. Yet He was learning obedience through the things which He suffered. Jesus could cast out any devil, heal any sickness and disease, feed the multitude, and walk on water, but this trial was one He could not get out of. He could have taken the easy way out. Jesus said to Peter that the Father would provide twelve legions of angels to deliver Him, but then how would the Scriptures be fulfilled? Through the suffering, Jesus chose obedience. There are times in our lives when we could take the easy way, give into our flesh, and not obey the Lord. Compromising our faith will be a temptation, but in those times we need to learn obedience. Everything we depend on must go through testing to prove its strength. Experience is the test of obedience. We can study obedience, take a class on its benefits and understand its importance, but only by experience can our obedience be tested. Often, obedience is tested through suffering. Obedience is easy when we are getting what we want, but obedience is tested through the hard times, stress and trials. The early Christians faced tremendous persecution for their faith. They were scattered throughout Asia Minor and paid a great price for their obedience to Jesus. In Heb. 13:3 we are told to remember the prisoners as if we were chained with them, and those who are mistreated since we are also in the body. In many places in the world today, believers are suffering for confessing their faith in Christ as their Savior. They are in prisons, mistreated, persecuted, and are suffering for their faith. Today we must learn obedience, even through suffering, that we might say as Jesus did, "...nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done."
How are you learning obedience through your suffering?
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