I heard, many years ago, that “A man who fails to plan is planning to fail.” The modern proverb has a definite ring of truth about it, doesn’t it?
In your honest, humble assessment of yourself, would you say that you pass or fail most of your trials and temptations? I have failed a LOT of trials, and, I suspect, most of us feel the same way. The question might be asked of us, do we plan on facing trials and temptations? Or, do we just let them come whenever and however they may? Failing to plan for difficult times leads to trouble, and in the dark times of suffering, we need to have a spiritual survival plan.
The recipients of the letter to the Hebrews were, unsurprisingly, Hebrews. But they were also very tried and tempted saints. The letter reveals they had lost their property, social position, and were in danger of great physical harm. They also were dealing with a lot of confusion. The writer of the book is seeking to strengthen his audience to endure and be faithful to God in the midst of their severe trials. His chief means of his doing so is to point to Jesus, and His great work and sufferings on the cross.
The best preparation for life’s great difficulties is to have an accurate and intimate familiarity with the sufferings of Christ on our behalf. Nothing can so cheer the heavy heart and uplift the sinking soul as the awareness of Christ’s sufferings. His subsequent nearness and empathy towards His own who are suffering is our great consolation in dark times of the soul.
It’s a good idea to visit Calvary regularly, and to behold the sorrows of the Man acquainted with grief. A thorough study of the book of Hebrews will open our eyes to the depths of His suffering for us. “By His wounds we are healed.” As we study thru Hebrews, let’s be prepared to have our eyes exposed to the glorious wounding of the Son of Man- the wounds by which we are healed.