May 05, 2015 / Devotionals / Life

Ramblings…God’s Discipline | Hebrews 12

This week I’ve been struggling to hand over my worry to God. I find myself doubting at times that God really has my best interest in mind. As I’ve wrestled with my tendency to try and control my surroundings through worry I came across this passage.

“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 12:7-10

I realized how much I’ve been doubting that God’s actually doing something good in spite of some difficult circumstances. Something that seemed like a bad thing may actually be God’s discipline in my life.

A couple things jump out to me about his discipline…

God’s not punishing me.

It’s so easy to feel like I did something wrong and believe my feelings that question the goodness of God in circumstances that feel anything but good. All this is based on the assumption that my feelings represent truth – which is far from correct. God says clearly that his discipline is a product of him being my heavenly father.

I feel like I’m just getting to the point where I’m able to now reflect back on childhood and see more clearly why my parents made me do things the way they did. Things that felt like punishment at the time were building habits and character in me that are invaluable. The same is true with God. He sees the bigger picture and is growing me through something I may view as punishment.

I love that we are legitimatized as his sons and daughters through his discipline in our lives. If things seem easy and we’re not challenged to grow then we’re not acting as his kids. It’s his discipline that makes him our father.

Discipline isn’t a bad thing.

The word “discipline” has always had a negative connotation to me. I always saw it as an act of punishment or a way to pay someone back for something wrong they did. God’s discipline however is more teaching us to be disciplined. He’s currently teaching me to be disciplined in my thinking and not worry but instead turn to Him in trust.

It’s ok if discipline doesn’t feel good in the moment.

This is very reassuring to me. I get bugged sometimes that my feelings don’t line up with God’s work in my life. I feel like I’m less of a Christian if I’m unhappy because God has me in the middle of a hard part of life. I’m learning that again – my feelings don’t represent truth, and that discipline isn’t supposed to be all sunshine and rainbows. It’s hard at times. And that’s ok! I can admit to myself that it’s difficult but have the reassurance that there’s something good waiting for me.

There is peace on the other side of discipline

I love that the promise of God’s discipline is not becoming better, or being happier, or even avoiding future discipline…it’s peace. In addition to becoming more righteous – or growing in my relationship with God – I also get peace. This is an awesome promise!

There’s a peace for me to carry into the next season of discipline in my life. There’s a peace through whatever future hardships I face. There’s a peace to convey to other people who are walking through hardships around me.

At the end of the day, no matter what the circumstances, God uses discipline to provide peace. This is a promise that I’m extremely grateful for!