Although painful, the discipline of God brings comfort and reassurance. Often His discipline comes through hardship or suffering. Biblical discipline includes the concepts of training, teaching, instruction, and correction. In the strongest form, it comes with chastening and warning.
Let’s make one thing clear, no one likes discipline in the moment. We all find it difficult, but we need God’s discipline to become all He created us to be.
A key life verse for me comes from Isaiah.
“Indeed, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested and chosen you in the furnace of affliction.”
The refining of silver occurs at a relatively low temperature. However, God says that our refining requires more extreme measures. He purifies us through the blazing “furnace of affliction”. Silver never resists the process. We, on the other hand, often do! As we recognize the beauty of discipline, we find peace in the process. We may even begin to anticipate the bountiful results of discipline.
“My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the LORD reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.”
Because God loves perfectly, He brings correction into our lives perfectly — with perfect timing and in perfect ways. Many people perceive God as harsh, judgmental, and uncaring. Nothing could be further from the truth! “My son,” He whispers, “I delight in you! I want you to be all you can be!”
” . . . My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”
The discipline of God proves our value and position as His sons or daughters. How wonderfully reassuring!
As a parent, I wanted my children to listen to my instruction and obey. Discipline only became necessary when my words were ignored. God responds in a similar fashion. He desires for us to hear and heed His Word, willingly responding to His direction.
“For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light, and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life.”
Those who never experience corrective influence become a hazard to themselves and those around them. We thrive within healthy boundaries, productive routines, and predictable parameters. God’s Word, the Bible, offers all these things to us and more.
Through His commandments and instruction, we discovery to path to a fulfilling life. When we stray from His sure ways, He graciously draws us back. He loves us too much to leave us to our own destruction.
“To learn the truth you must long to be teachable, or you can despise correction and remain ignorant.”
Proverbs 12:1 TPT
The psalmist wrote under divine inspiration,
“Blessed is the one you discipline, LORD, the one you teach from your law.”
I find a repetitive pattern both in God’s Word and in my own life. During affluent times, it becomes easy to take our eyes off God, to become complacent about our relationship with Him, or even drift away. The greatest spiritual dangers come with wealth, power, and privilege, giving room for pride and presumption.
God uses hardships to refine us, setting us back on course.
“Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.”
In other words, we must take the discipline of God seriously, learn from the struggles we go through, and quickly align ourselves with His heart and His ways.
What if we welcomed difficult seasons as God’s purest blessing toward us and validation of His love? What if we approached hardships with tender responsive hearts, desiring to learn, grow, and mature?
“Now all discipline seems to be painful at the time, yet later it will produce a transformation of character, bringing a harvest of righteousness and peace to those who yield to it.”
As we yield to God’s instruction, correction, and training, He transforms us to bring righteousness and peace.
Discipline of God
Only God can transform trials into triumphs. Only God then uses them to refine us.
“And now, isn’t it wonderful all the ways in which this distress has goaded you closer to God? You’re more alive, more concerned, more sensitive, more reverent, more human, more passionate, more responsible. Looked at from any angle, you’ve come out of this with purity of heart. And that is what I was hoping for in the first place . . . ”
2 Corinthians 7:11 MSG
Oh, that we would come through discipline, “more alive, more concerned, more sensitive, more reverent, more human, more passionate, and more responsible.” With God, we can!
May we determine to not waste a moment of God’s instruction, correction, and discipline. Let’s become better, stronger, and more fruitful.