The great test of faith for your disciple will be tied to the destructive emotions of his family. Extreme family emotions were the experience of many biblical characters- Abel, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Jonathan, and David, to name a few. Abel was murdered by his brother, Jacob tricked into an unwanted marriage by his father-in-law, Joseph’s brothers sold him as a slave, Moses’s brother and sister betrayed him, Jonathan’s dad tried to kill him, while David had a wife who despised him, a father-in-law intent on killing him, and even a son who tried to end his life.
In Hebrews chapter 11 these same characters are commended for their faith and given to us as role models to follow. Here we have the convergence of God’s purpose, our faith, and the suffering we have experienced in our own families. Each of these individuals chose to trust in the father heart of God (Hebrews 12:4-11), in spite of their family’s behavior, which empowered them to patiently wait for the fulfillment of God’s plan, to forgive others, and to not take vengeance against those who had harmed them.
- The painful family experience of your disciple is not a disruption or hindrance in his life, rather it is a vital component of God’s purpose for him.
- The faith of your disciple will be seen in his willingness to forgive others and to not take revenge.