We’ve all dealt with discipline in our lives. I probably don’t have to tell you, it can hurt! But have you ever wondered why God disciplines us, and if it’s really out of love?
Today I’m going to challenge the way you see His correction.
As humbling and painful as God’s discipline can be, it’s also an incredible learning opportunity. And when we receive His correction and lessons in our life, there’s absolutely nothing God won’t do for us.
Oh, don’t get me wrong. We don’t do it for the reward. But the blessings God pours upon us, when we walk closely to Him, are limitless!
We just have to be open to it.
When we understand the power behind God’s discipline, and why He uses it, the game changes!
[Scroll to the bottom to watch God’s Discipline: The Truth the Proves His Unconditional Love]
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what is God’s Discipline
In an article for 412teens.org, Stephanie T. defines God’s discipline beautifully, when she writes,
Discipline seeks to enact change within a person. Discipline is about rehabilitation, a heart changed for the better, and ultimately fostering an improved life in the future.Stephanie T, 412teens.org
No one likes discipline at the time. In fact, most of us can look back and recall a time when our parents doled out some hefty correction.
But for many of us, as tough as it was, we see that their discipline was to keep us safe — to raise children with good values and prepare us for adulthood.
Not only can discipline be painful, but oftentimes it takes a toll on our pride as well.
The purpose of God’s discipline
Christian author and speaker, Jerry Bridges, sums up the reason God uses discipline perfectly when he states, “The purpose of God’s discipline is not to punish us but to transform us.“
In other words, it’s an opportunity to turn our life around and get back on the path God has planned for us.He uses discipline when we've sinned by convicting our hearts so that we'll turn back to Him and repent; so He can pour out His forgiveness, blessings and the abundant life he wants for us.
You see, just as we hurt when we see our own children going down the wrong path, it also hurts God to see us doing the same thing. So He’ll make every effort to turn us back to Him and receive the forgiveness Jesus and His work on the cross brings us.
Even if it hurts.
When God’s discipline hurts
No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way. Hebrews 12:11 NLT
So how do we endure God’s discipline when it hurts?
Hebrews, chapter 12 teaches us to keep our eyes fixed on God.
And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Hebrews 12:1-2 NLT
Just like Jesus looked beyond the cross to the glory awaiting Him, we can endure God’s discipline — and any hard times in our life — when we keep our eyes on Jesus and the forgiveness and redemption awaiting us.
There is always great joy beyond God’s discipline, we just have to choose to look for it.
Is it an easy choice?
In fact, most of the time it feels impossible when we’re in it.
But oh, how glorious that peaceful harvest will be! So we choose to endure, and seek God’s wisdom, until our heart catches up with our faith.
What to ask in the Midst of God’s Discipline
“As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all. Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever?” Hebrews: 12:5-9 NLT
God’s discipline in our lives is a lot like training for a big race. We work hard to train, and make tweaks and corrections along the way — to help us win the race and enjoy the rewards beyond the finish line.
In the same way, God is preparing us for eternity by using discipline to correct us and get us back on the right path, so we can spend eternity with Him.
So in these times, go to God with a teachable — and humble — heart. Confess what you’ve done and ask for forgiveness.
Ask God to show you His perspective and the best way through it. Ask Him to convict you when you begin to go off path again.
God’s Discipline SHOWS HIS Unconditional Love
“My child, don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline, and don’t give up when he corrects you. For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.”
Hebrews 12:5-6 NLT
The Lord disciplines those He loves, which means you’re a child of God, and that’s something to celebrate!
If He didn’t love you, He wouldn’t waste His time and energy trying to get you back on track. He wouldn’t have sent His Son to pay for your sins.
Now that right there is unconditional love!
3 things to Remember About God’s Discipline
When it comes to God’s discipline, there are three crucial things to remember.
- Love — God disciplines those He loves.
If God didn’t love you, He’d wouldn’t care if you went in the wrong direction.
- Identity — Since you’re made in the image of God, you need correction to represent who you are in Christ.
There’s nothing like being a true child of God and living this fun and exciting life you were created for!
- Reward — God wants to forgive you and pour out His blessings on you.
As I stated earlier, we don’t do things to receive a reward, but by walking with God and going to Him with a teachable heart, the reward becomes a byproduct of the way we live.
And life is far more rewarding when we learn from our mistakes and sins!
Wisdom can be painful, my friend!
But the reward of being a child of God and the joy that comes through His discipline is beyond anything you could ever imagine!
God’s Discipline wrap up
Correction is only seen as judgement to those who still love their sin!Unknown
Because we have the power of the Holy Spirit within us, we can endure God’s discipline. We can take the example of Jesus and look past the cross of our sins to the glory waiting on the other side.
I challenge you to look at discipline differently this week!
In fact, thank God through it because you know something good is coming!
If you’re going to live out your ultimate calling, and enjoy this life God creted you for, it’ll require God’s correction and a teahable heart along the way.
Remember, it’s proof that He loves you.
I mean would you rather have God discipline you, or completely ignore you?
Yeah, I choose the first too!
Thankfully, the hurt won’t last long in the big scheme of things, but the glory it’ll bring with be worth every difficult moment!
And you can be thankful that God cares enough to give you the correction you need!
Until next time, my friend…
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