Hebrews Chapter 12 could be titled: "No Pain, No Gain."
It tells us that pain is often a vehicle for spiritual growth.
That's why we should:
1. See it as training, not wasted sorrow.
"Endure hardship as discipline* ... No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it." (v.7,11)
2. Believe we can do it.
We're surrounded by "a great cloud of witnesses" who have gone before us and been victorious. (v.1)
3. Focus on Jesus, not the pain.
Focusing on Jesus "the pioneer and perfecter of faith" keeps us from growing weary. (v.2-3)
4. Remember God is a Perfect parent.
He "disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.” (v. 6)
Perhaps an even better title for Hebrews 12 might be "Endure Pain, Insure Gain" (v. 11). What do you think?
* Discipline can be a part of constructive punishment, but it can also be training without punishment involved. That's why this passage applies to all difficulties that God allows in our lives.