Heavy Trials Test Our Strength and Endurance

A few weeks ago, we had our first real snowstorm of the season. One of our neighbors said it was the most damaging snowfall they experienced on their property in the 37 years they’ve lived there. Our generator ran for three days, and we’re still picking up branches here and there on our property.

Twenty-four inches fell over the course of a couple days, but it wasn’t the amount of snow that caused the damage. It was the weight. The snow was so wet when it came down that it stuck to everything it landed on and kept building on itself. As a result, an untold number of trees broke under the weight.

Our biggest loss was my wife’s favorite tree, a double-trunked Dogwood in our front yard. Through the summer it looked like it wasn’t the healthiest tree, so I pounded half a dozen fertilizer spikes into the ground in hopes that, along with the fall rainfall, it would look better in spring. After two days of snow, it seemed to be bearing up under the weight. But finally it could hold up no longer. Both trunks snapped in half. Even our healthiest 40’ spruce was bent over for a time, but is now standing tall again.

Such are the effects of the weight of heavy snow on a tree, and such can be the effects of ongoing trials on a believer in Christ. That’s what the book of Hebrews teaches us.

The book was written to encourage, warn, and instruct believers who were buckling under the weight of their trials and, as a result, were wavering in their faith and experiencing spiritual decline. Some were about to break. So the author, who is only known to God, warns them of the dangers of apostasy, and reminds them of God’s prescription for spiritual health and strength.

The circumstances under which the book was written include the impending destruction of Jerusalem. Some believers were going back and forth between embracing and rejecting Jesus as Messiah. They were bending and breaking under the weight of suffering. Therefore, they needed to be reminded of the sufficiency of Christ and the necessity of consistent fellowship. 

This week, please take time to read and meditate on Hebrews 10:19-25. Then ask the Lord to help you to make whatever changes you need to make in your life. You may also want to listen to this sermon: Continue in Christ-Centered Community.

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