One line. One single biblical line, read in its context, is one of the world’s great manuals to mental health.

The line: “Endure hardship as discipline” (Heb. 12:7, NIV).

The immediate context: “The Lord disciplines the one he loves” (12:6, NIV). The wider context: Hebrews 12:5–11. For the sold-out, baptized believer, all of life is lived out within the context of covenantal discipline that puts you under protection and in training.

One paragraph—one single paragraph—orbiting Hebrews 12:5–11 and Romans 8:28 breeds a life brimming with meaning and purpose. Even though we may not always know exactly what the meaning is in real time, we know that every life event, no matter what, has the potential for covenantal protection and/or training/equipping empowers and strengthens.

The paragraph: “[1] The Father’s presence encircled Christ, and nothing befell Him but that which infinite love permitted for the blessing of the world. [2] Here was His source of comfort, and it is for us. [3] He who is imbued with the Spirit of Christ abides in Christ. [4] The blow that is aimed at him falls upon the Saviour, who surrounds him with His presence. [5] Whatever comes to him comes from Christ. [6] He has no need to resist evil, for Christ is his defense. [7] Nothing can touch him except by our Lord’s permission, and ‘all things’ that are permitted ‘work together for good to them that love God’ ” (Ellen G. White, Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 71).

Let’s examine:

1. An invisible shield—the Father’s presence—surrounded Jesus! Nothing could get through that shield but what His Father discerned would enable Jesus to be a greater blessing day by day. That ranged from His most miracle-performing day, to a stormy-lake day, to an attack by a deranged, demon-possessed man day, to His crucifixion day, and everything in between.

2. This assurance and trust brought great comfort and empowerment to Jesus. It could, it should, do the same for us if we really believe that it applies to us also.

3. It does! If you ask to be filled with the Holy Spirit every day (Luke 11:13), if you accept Jesus’ invitation to abide in Him every day (John 15:4, 5), you are assured of the same protection and training that Jesus was provided.

4. As the Father’s presence surrounded Jesus with His presence, Jesus surrounds you with His! He evaluates everything that is aimed at you. Everything. Any hardship or challenge aimed at you falls upon Him before it reaches you. He evaluates it as to whether it has protective or training value for you.

5. Nothing reaches you unless, in Jesus’ discernment, it has that value! No matter its source of origin, Jesus invites you to accept it as coming from Him, from Him, for your protection and/or training.

6. So you do not need to waste time or energy trying to avoid or fret over trials when they come. They got through Jesus’ defense system for a reason—for a good reason. Trust Him. Redirect your energies to trusting Him and praying for discernment to know how to respond in some positive way that could bless others and honor Him.

7. Whatever touches your life has value. He is watching over you constantly to make sure of that. You can trust Him.

You don’t have to believe any of this. Many people, even some Bible scholars, scoff at it. But it’s part of the benefit package of being a member of the divine covenant. The Bible and the writings of Ellen White are saturated with this assurance. Watch for it as you read them and meditate on them.