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Hebrews 12:4-7, 9-11
Wednesday, July 17 2013

The Discipline of the Lord...

How well do we receive the discipline of the Lord?

In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood. You have also forgotten the exhortation addressed to you as sons: "My son, do not disdain the discipline of the Lord or lose heart when reproved by him; for whom the Lord loves, he disciplines; he scourges every son he acknowledges." Endure your trials as "discipline"; God treats you as sons. For what "son" is there whom his father does not discipline?  -Hebrews 12:4-7, NAB

The verse continues:

Besides this, we have had our earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them. Should we not (then) submit all the more to the Father of spirits and live? They disciplined us for a short time as seemed right to them, but he does so for our benefit, in order that we may share his holiness. At the time, all discipline seems a cause not for joy but for pain, yet later it brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who are trained by it.  -Hebrews 12:9-11, NAB

The meaning of this verse is relatively easy to understand.  At times, we face trials that are meant to bring discipline to our faith.  The discipline of the Lord strengthens and refines our faith in ways that help us to stand firm in any storm.

Athletes discipline their bodies through rigorous physical exercise.  It's not easy; it's difficult.  They push the very limits of what their bodies can handle during training so that they can handle anything that comes during competition.

In life, our parents do the same thing.  They discipline us as children to prepare us for adulthood.  Being disciplined in childhood helps us to make wise decisions and have the mental fortitude necessary to face the trials of life.

In these situations, we understand that some pain is necessary for gain.  Why, then, do we get angry at God when He is trying to help us develop our faith?  When God tries to strengthen us through discipline, why do we turn our back on Him?  We act like little children that are angry because they have been disciplined.

The discipline of the Lord has molded who I am today.  I faced the mistakes I have made and allowed them to shape me into the man I have become.  My faith has grown stronger and more resilient, and I feel ready to handle any challenge that life can throw at me.

Accept the consequences of your actions.  The discipline of the Lord will lead you back to the right path and empower you to face the greatest obstacles.  Like a father disciplining a son, your Father in heaven is fortifying your faith for the challenges that lie ahead.

 

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