Jeremiah 2:30, “In vain I have chastened your children; they received no correction”
Hebrews 12:11, “No chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness”.
Discipline! No one likes it, but I’m sure you would agree that we all need it at some time or another. Growing up as a child, my brother and I didn’t like to be disciplined by our parents. There was a rule in our home, if we did something wrong, we would be punished for it. The discipline we received would range from being limited to our home for a few days; it could also include no television, no telephone calls, no friends and many times it would include a spanking on our bottom side. We didn’t like the idea of being disciplined; however, we knew our parents were punishing us because of their love and provision for us. Maybe you can remember times growing up when your parents disciplined you for something you did wrong. Now that I am older and supposedly wiser, how thankful I am for their discipline, protective care, provision, and love towards me.
As believers in Christ, sometimes it seems as if God allows circumstances into our lives that are harming us and are without sense or plan. However, we may be certain these waves are intended to bring us nearer to Himself, to encourage us to set our minds “on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:2). Because we are prone to drift away from Him, the Lord must discipline us to get us back on the right course (Hebrews 12:9-11). I’m mindful of how the Israelites repeatedly ignored God’s discipline, and I’m quite sure the Lord was grieved when they were unwilling to admit their wrongdoing and change their ways, as He is with His children today.
Because of God loves for His children; He never skimps on our spiritual training. Instead of a quick slap on the wrist, our correction may include the agonizing experience of being confronted with who we are and why we behave the way we do. Hebrews 12 summarizes the process with refreshing honesty: “No chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it”.
(1) Think about the last time someone corrected you? Maybe it was the Lord!
(2) How did you respond to that correction?
(3) How has that correction helped you?
Our Guide, the Lord Jesus, knows that if we are to avoid dangers in our pilgrimage, He must sometimes lead us on detours that seem unnecessary. If we decide to leave the pathway of obedience, He may be forced to use painful means to drag us back to spiritual safety (Hebrews 12:3-11). Eventually, though, we will understand that our Guide’s discipline was motivated by His protecting care and love for us. How thankful we can be for His tough love, for without it where would we be today!
The Lord foresees the danger when
From Him we go astray,
And stretches out His saving hand
To keep us in His way. – DJD
God uses the waves of trial to draw us closer to Himself.