The Discipline of Suffering

And you have forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons: My son, do not take the Lord’s discipline lightly or faint when you are reproved by Him, for the Lord disciplines the one He loves and punishes every son He receives. Endure suffering as discipline: God is dealing with you as sons. For what son is there that a father does not discipline? Hebrews 12:5-7 HCSB

As the father of four children, I had to discipline my children many times. Even though they were wonderful children, there were times that I needed to discipline them as an expression of my fatherly love. A parent who never disciplines his children is really saying that he does not love them and does not care what happens to them. On the other hand, a parent who truly loves his children will discipline and give them direction because he knows that is what is best for them, and it is the only way they will learn right from wrong. Discipline often brings some pain and suffering, but the end result yields children who become productive and responsible adults.

As believers, we are children of God. He loves us and wants only the best for us. Because He loves us so much, He will discipline us. He will allow suffering and pain into our lives as a way to help us become the people He desires for us to be – to be more like His Son, Jesus Christ. The word “discipline” carries the connotation of teaching, educating, training, correcting with purpose, or building character. Discipline is never pleasant but so very necessary.

Challenge: What suffering are you presently experiencing? Look for the purpose and reason God is allowing this into your life at this time. Thank God for His loving discipline that gives you guidance and direction.

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