We hear a lot about God’s discipline, but do we recognize His discipline in our own lives? When I thought about this, I had to admit that I didn’t really know when He was disciplining me. (Was that God’s discipline, or just the consequences of my actions?)
After studying God’s word and seeking to understand, I have come to the conclusion that God is always disciplining us. If we are walking with God, if we are submitted to him each and every day, then He will discipline us all through our journey while here on Earth.
It isn’t necessary to identify what is and what isn’t God’s discipline as long as I ask Him, “Is there something I should learn from this experience?”
I began to dig in the Word and this is what I found:
“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.” Hebrews 12:5-6 NIV
“Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:7-11 NIV
The writer of Hebrews says, “Endure hardship as discipline.” (verse 7)
When we experience hardship in our lives, we have the opportunity to grow spiritually. Isn’t that true? While enduring hardship, we look to the Lord for strength, wisdom, and answers to prayer.
According to dictionary.com a synonym for discipline is development. Isn’t that what God does in our life? He develops us to become more and more like Christ. As we go through life, the circumstances, decisions, and trials we experience greatly effect our development. Depending on how we react to these events, we will either grow spiritually or lose ground.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2 NIV
As we walk with God every day, reading our Bible and faithful in prayer, we can rest assured that He is intimately involved in our life, disciplining us, renewing our minds, and preparing us for His purpose.
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV
We know that hardship is not the only way we receive discipline because God’s uses His Word to train us, too.
And don’t forget this promise:
“Are you [actually] unaware or ignorant [of the fact] that God’s kindness leads you to repentance [that is, to change your inner self, your old way of thinking—seek His purpose for your life]?” Romans 2:4 AMP
Yes, God’s kindness and love is also a means by which He trains and disciplines us. Have you ever recognized your need to repent due to a kindness expressed to you?
I can remember a time when, in my mind, I was judging someone harshly. That person walked up to me and gave me a hug and said, “I love you!” The result was that I immediately repented and that was the end of that. God used kindness to bring me to repentance.
God’s hand of discipline may be on us not simply to spank us because we have been bad, but to stretch us and broaden us in what we are doing well.”John Piper
Here are some interesting facts about discipline:
- It may not be pleasant at the time, but discipline produces righteousness and peace in our life. (“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11 NIV)
- It is a blessing to be disciplined. (“Blessed is the one whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.” Job 5:17 NIV)
- Your decision to heed correction affects others. (“Whoever heeds discipline shows the way to life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray.” Proverbs 10:17 NIV)
- Heeding the Lord’s discipline will make you wise. (“Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise.” Proverbs 19:20 NIV)
This Is My Journey Unscripted.
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