Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Do Not Despise the Discipline of the Almighty

"For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness." Hebrews 12:10-11

No child I have ever met enjoys being disciplined. I certainly did not. I remember as a young child my parents explaining to me that they had to punish me because they loved me. This seemed completely contradictory to my finite mind...how could discipline be loving? At 24 years old, I am extremely grateful for the times my parents disciplined me and showed me right from wrong. It truly did train and teach me how to live righteously.

After my senior year of college, I went through an extremely difficult season where the Lord graciously upset all of my plans and taught me dependence on Him. At the time, it did not feel joyful, but very sorrowful. And yet, at the end of that year, I remember reading in Psalm 119 and being able to fully agree with the psalmist, "Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Your word. You are good and do good...It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes." Psalm 119:67-68; 71.

It was through the affliction and discipline of the Lord that I came to truly know Him. It was through a season of sorrow that produced in me the "peaceful fruit of righteousness." What a beautiful truth to know that God disciplines us for our good, to share in His holiness, and to produce in us the peaceful fruit of righteousness. Today, may we allow ourselves to be trained by the Lord and trust that His ways are loving and for our good. 

"Behold, how happy is the man whom God reproves, so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.For He inflicts pain, and gives relief; He wounds, and His hands also heal." Job 5:17-18.