I’ve had a lot of time lately to think on discipline. Things haven’t been the best for me, mostly because I screwed up. I’m not going to go into any details here, but let’s just say that things are pretty bad almost to the point of hopeless.
Now, I’ve reflected on the events that have led up to this event, this current set of life circumstances, and some would say that it’s karma. I got what was coming to me. Or, as some people say, you reap what you sow. I believe it was Paul who said that if you sow unrighteousness, then unrighteousness will be your reward, and if you sow righteousness, then righteousness will be your reward.
More simply put, you get evil for evil and good for good. You do well, and good things will come. You do badly, you will be treated badly and bad things will come your way.
Well, that’s where I am right now. I am currently being disciplined because I screwed up. Now, I’ve been disciplined before. I’ve ended up in life circumstances that I couldn’t understand until I took a look back and realized what I did wrong, and I had to repent and ask forgiveness and try again. But I have never experienced anything like this.
And so, here I am, thinking about discipline, accepting my fate at the Father’s hands and I’m reading my Bible and I come across this passage in Hebrews:
“It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?” (Hebrews 12:7)
This passage made me think, like it has many times before. I’m being disciplined because God is treating me like a son. He is disciplining me for my actions because He loves me (Proverbs 3:12). This gives me hope.
The author of Hebrews tells us that discipline is necessary in the life of the Christian. He compares earthly fathers with our heavenly Father in saying that our earthly fathers disciplined us in the way they saw fit, but our heavenly Father disciplines us for holiness (12:10).
We all endure discipline in our lives, especially in our Christian walk, and we are left wondering why these things happen. We even ask why bad things happen to good people. “Why did I lose my job, why did my company go under, why did my child get sick all of sudden, why did my child die, why are these bad things happening to me? I’ve led a good life.” My friend, here is a reason: God is disciplining you. He is purifying you through fire. It is part of what He does in order to ensure that you turn to Him in your time of need.
“All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness” (Hebrews 12:11)
I was not thrilled with my discipline. I’m still not thrilled with it, but I have come to accept it. Ever since the beginning of my discipline, I have sought God greatly in my life, studying His Word, worshipping Him in all that I say and do and purifying my life so that I may be a living vessel for Him. He is slowly working righteousness in my life through this trial by fire.
I know you are weary in your discipline, but rest assured, He has plans for you, plans for righteousness and peace in Him. Remember, God disciplines those He loves. If you are struggling in your life and questioning why these things are happening, do all you can to see it as a trial by fire, a period of refining and discipline so that you may be holy as your Father is holy.