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Hebrews 12 : We are really Godís children

v4 You are in the fight against everything that is wrong. But you have not yet had to continue fighting until someone killed you. v5 You have forgotten that someone wrote words to Godís children. These words can make you brave and strong:

  ĎMy son, think seriously when the *Lord *punishes you.

  He will sometimes show you that you are wrong.

You must not become sad and weak.

when he tells you that you are wrong.

  v6 Because the *Lord does that to everyone that he loves.

He *punishes everyone that he receives as a son.í

[Proverbs 3:11-12]

v7 You must be patient and strong when life is difficult. Receive the trouble as *punishment from God, who is your Father. God is teaching you as his children. There has never been any son whose father did not *punish him. v8 God teaches all his children not to do wrong things. So if he does not *punish you, then you are not really his children. Then you are like children who do not really belong to him. v9 Also, we have all had human fathers who *punished us. And we thought that it was important to obey them. So it is much more important that we obey the Father of our *spirits. If we obey him then we will live.

v10 Our human fathers *punished us for a short time, as they thought best. But God *punishes us because that really is the best thing for us. Then we can become like him. We can become completely separate from everything that is bad. v11 No *punishment makes us happy at the time when we receive it. It makes us sad then. But later we know that the *punishment has taught us good things. It has made our lives more like God wants us to be. Then we are without trouble deep inside ourselves because we are right with God.

v12 You have become tired as Christians, like people with hands that hang down. You are like people with weak knees. Lift up your hands and make your knees strong again! v13 Live for God, like people who walk on a straight, flat path. So then, people with weak legs, who cannot walk well, will not get worse. Their legs will not become unable to walk. But instead they will become well and strong.

Verses 12-13 The writer is thinking again about Christians as people who are in a *race. (See verse 1.) He is telling his readers to believe God. He is telling them to become strong Christians again.

Verse 13 If the stronger Christians really live for God, then weaker Christians will copy their example. And then the weak Christians will become strong too.

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