QUICK! What runs through the cinema of YOUR mind when you hear the word DISCIPLINE? If you’re like the other 1.4 million followers of this global ministry, at minimum, it grabs your attention. But for many of us, it sends a shudder through our soul that we are reluctant to own. “Of course I’m disciplined,” we say. But keeping God’s call for us to be disciplined top-of-mind is much more difficult, right?
Here’s the reality:
The root of the word DISCIPLE is discipline. Mature believers are called disciples and Christians cannot be disciples without being disciplined. And a foundational component of being disciplined in our faith walk is being disciplined by a LOVING God.
I call it God’s “LOVING DISCIPLINE.”
“My child don’t reject the LORD’s discipline, and don’t be upset when He corrects you. For the LORD corrects those He loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom He delights.” Proverbs 3:11-12
Take note that God emphasizes training and teaching over PUNISHMENT. Following Jesus is all about learning from him and some of the lessons we learn will feel like punishment. But God teaches us through the consequences of our actions and there are times when that hurts. Thankfully, that pain produces learning.
When God disciplines us, he is expressing his LOVE for us because he cares about us and is focused on our future walk with him.
“For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11
The absence of God’s discipline would mean he is ignoring us and we KNOW that is NOT true. His discipline has PURPOSE. He wants to dissolve our distractions. Crush our quest for control. Incinerate our idols.
When our life’s car bounces on a rocky road, we can KNOW that God is not only watching, he is with us. He cares. He loves us. Yes, even when everything is framed by hopelessness.
It pains God to see his children suffer. Even though he allows us to mess up, he will not allow it to stay that way forever. Why will he restore things and make them right? BECAUSE HE LOVES US.
I ask God to give me hope and fill me with his peace that is more powerful than any bump on any road.
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
Looking back through the story of your life, can you see evidence of GOD’s LOVE for you when his discipline was present?
“Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness.” 1 Timothy 4:7
“Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23