Hebrews 11:25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. ~ When we choose to follow Christ and live according to his word, there are hardships and afflictions that we will experience because of the fallen nature of man, because of sin, and even because of the unrenewed mind of man. There are fathers and husbands who do not rise up and be the spiritual leaders of their homes and they don’t love their wives as Christ loved the church. And then there are wives and mothers who are not the help meet that they are supposed to be or the nurturers that God created them to be. And because of this, there are gaps that need filled and hedges that need built up so that usually leaves the other spouse to do it. And if we aren’t careful, the enemy will try to get us to focus on those things so that we become discouraged, tired, resentful, etc. But if we will follow the example of Moses and the example of our Savior Jesus Christ, we can bring salvation, deliverance, and new life to those in our families.
Ezekiel 22:30 says that God is looking for someone who will stand in the gap. He is looking for a people who are willing to endure hardships, endure cruelty, and endure afflictions so that others might live. When we stand in the gap, we are actually positioning our loved ones in a place before God where they might receive mercy in the time of judgement. We are sparing their lives from decay, ruin, the curse, unfavorable judgements, and a life separated from God. That is exactly what Jesus did for us. He took upon himself our sin, our shame, our burdens, our afflictions, our persecutions, our judgement, and our penalties so that we wouldn’t have to and so that we could come to know the love of the Father and receive salvation for our souls.
So when you are tempted to look at the afflictions or the hardships that are temporal, choose rather to look to the eternal reward of your sacrifice, the salvation of your loved ones. After all, standing in the gap and being long suffering is your nature.