In this all-out match against sin, others have suffered far worse than you, to say nothing of what Jesus went through - all that bloodshed!
So don't feel sorry for yourselves. Or have you forgotten how good parents treat children, and that God regards you as his children? My dear child, don't shrug off God's discipline, but don't be crushed by it either.
It's the child he loves that he disciplines; the child he embraces, he also corrects.
God is educating you; that's why you must never drop out. He's treating you as dear children. This trouble you're in isn't punishment; it's training,
the normal experience of children. Only irresponsible parents leave children to fend for themselves. Would you prefer an irresponsible God?
We respect our own parents for training and not spoiling us, so why not embrace God's training so we can truly live?
While we were children, our parents did what seemed best to them. But God is doing what is best for us, training us to live God's holy best.
At the time, discipline isn't much fun. It always feels like it's going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it's the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God.
So don't sit around on your hands! No more dragging your feet!
Clear the path for long-distance runners so no one will trip and fall, so no one will step in a hole and sprain an ankle. Help each other out. And run for it!
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)