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To Discipline Is To Love

To Discipline is To Love

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, shouldnt we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever? Hebrews 12:7-9 (NLT)

There are times in every one of our lives where we will suffer.  None of us looks forward to these times, and in fact many people view these times negatively in such a way as to perceive themselves as a victim, but this is not true.  Suffering, as hard as it can be to bear, is much easier when we realize that there is a purpose behind it.  It is through this suffering that we are shaped and changed; our beliefs are refined and we are strengthened in our Christian walk.  

We can see from the scriptures above, that we will endure suffering through "Divine discipline."  And we can see that if we did not receive this discipline, then we would not really be God's children because God disciplines those he loves.  Knowing that we will face times of suffering and discipline we are encouraged to stay focused on the goal of eternity.  We are exhorted to lay aside every weight, and the sin, which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.

It shouldn't be our primary goal in life to just sit around and enjoy all the things that our flesh desires--it should be about setting our sights and goals on Heaven and living in such a way that we show and reflect the love of God in our actions and become a light in every situation, including those times of suffering.  We can do this when we know that God is working on us, in us, and through us during these times.  And we should also be encouraged during these tough times, knowing our Savior Jesus endured these types of sufferings as well.

...looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. Hebrews 12:2-3 (NKJV)

So Jesus endured His suffering on the cross of Calvary because of the "Joy that was set before Him."  Simply put, His suffering had meaning-it was not in vain.  And neither is our suffering as Christian men and women.  We too, must imitate Jesus (See Eph 5:1) and look to our eternal destiny and be filled with Joy knowing just a fraction of the things that await us.

As Christian children we must understand that our Father God will discipline us.  Discipline is a vital part of raising children, and it shows true love as the child is shaped and guided through this process.  It is very important that we as Christians rightly understand that our suffering can only truly be understood when we see it as God's love for us.  We will now view it as:

   His acts of fatherly discipline
*    His acts of correcting us
*    His acts of directing us

Some would view suffering as evidence that God doesn't love us, but it is exactly the opposite as it is the very evidence that He loves us tremendously.

My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, Nor detest His correction; For whom the LORD loves He corrects, Just as a father the son in whom he delights. Proverbs 3:11-12 (NKJV)

The suffering that we endure through God's divine discipline is the fruit of our trials.  These trials are divine appointments that have been ordained by God, and they are perfect in His timing.  We may not understand Gods plan during these times, but we must choose to trust Him--this is our part; it is our faith properly placed.

Hey Christian, I want to encourage you today to stay focused on the goal of spending eternity with God.  Stay focused on God's promises that He has given you.  Know that He loves you so much, and He has already proven that by the sacrifice of His Son for you.  He continues to prove it by guiding and shaping you through various trials and tribulations that produce a righteous suffering.  Hes got a perfect plan in every aspect of your life.

STUDY QUESTION: What can we learn about suffering and divine discipline from the scriptures above?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Can you reflect about times in your life where you have seen Gods discipline in your life?  Can you see growth in your walk as a result of this discipline?

APPLICATION: Seek God today in prayer and begin to talk to Him; walk in His ways, and abide in His will.  Trust in the Lord with all your heart; lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.   

Father, Thank You for loving me in the way that You do.  I acknowledge that You are working in my life, and that I am going to go through times that I do not fully understand.  Help me to lean not on my own understanding during these times, but in all my ways acknowledge You.  In Jesus precious name, amen...

Be Blessed Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000