Journal Entry // October 30, 2021
But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.Hebrews 5:14 ESV
Maturity comes with learning obedience through suffering. Just as the Son of God learned through suffering, this pattern is set for us all. There can be no maturity without suffering. For maturity is the ability to discern good from evil. We must be trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. The implication here is that in order to choose the good and reject the evil, we must be familiar with sin. We must be engaged in a life filled with repentance and faith.
Maturity is not something that happens over night. I know in this world that I have become accustomed to getting what I want when I want it. That if I can’t afford what I want, then I borrow from others to attain. I have neglected that basic teaching tool of God… Patience. But maturity in the Lord knows only one path, the path of suffering. A path filled with struggle, adversity, pain, and hurt. This is the path that Jesus walked during his time on Earth, so I should not be surprised that I must follow in his footsteps.
Yet I am constantly surprised by suffering and trials. It still feels wrong. It still feels like punishment. These feelings are immaturity. The same immaturity that the trials and adversity and struggle are designed to develop and mature. I find it difficult at times to correct my thinking and immaturity. I know the right answers. I know the true purpose of the difficulty, but I still respond with immaturity.
I see these “problems” and I want them solved. I want to place it upon myself to solve these problems. From a worldly perspective I could easily remove some of the struggle and adversity. I could alleviate some of the pressure in my own strength. And I have previously. But I only move from one set of troubles to another since I miss the point so often.
The point is to mature my faith. To reveal my dependence on the Lord. To do away with my self-righteousness and cling to Jesus. To see and understand the difference between good and evil, then choose the good! This is maturity… Choosing to please God rather than myself or others. Even when it’s hard. Even when it hurts. Even when it means being ostracized. Even when it means cutting off my right hand or gouging out my eye. Maturity is choosing Jesus each and every time. For the pleasure of God my Father is infinitely more pleasurable than any momentary feeling this world can supply. The pleasure of God is life giving. The pleasure of this world is soul destroying.
So I will embrace this hardship and walk the path laid out before me in humility and reliance upon Christ for each and every step. I have learned so much about repentance and faith these last couple of years. God himself is maturing me. The Spirit himself dwells within me. Jesus himself binds my wounds and speaks words of comfort to me. And my Father. My Father looks upon me and smiles. My Father lifts up the hem of his robe and runs to embrace me even as I am still far away and journeying toward him. The love of God overwhelms my heart and fills me with peace and joy and pleasure. Maturing me to reject evil and choose good. And who is good? Only one person… Jesus.