God’s Loving Discipline
“No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.” (Heb. 12:11; NLT)
We all have bad days once in a while. But when those bad days turn into bad weeks, it’s probably time to examine some things. Sometimes it can be the Lord trying to get your attention. For most of us, when things are going well and everything is going our way, we become complacent in our prayer lives. God knows this. He also knows challenges make us stronger. He disciplines us by allowing us to suffer the consequences of our actions. That doesn’t mean God is going to bring you to the point of desperation every time He has a lesson for you. The truth is, when things go wrong it’s either by our own doing or someone else’s. God is always there to help, but we usually try to fix it on our own first. Then when things get desperate, we finally humble ourselves before the Lord. The longer we go before we take it to God, the more painful it gets.
God shows His love by disciplining us. His discipline teaches us valuable lessons. The Bible tells us: “My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline, and do not resent His rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those He loves, as a father the son he delights in.” (Prov. 3:11-12; NIV) It is not God’s intention to cause us hardship any more than it is a parent’s desire to cause hardship in their child’s life. But He will discipline us to make us better.
We live in an evil world. It is a result of the sin of mankind. Bad things happen to good people as well as bad people. The difference is, as Christians we have the Holy Spirit. The Spirit helps us navigate through those bad things in a way that will cause us to grow and prosper later on in life. Knowing that we are joined through the bad times by a God that loves us unconditionally is incredibly comforting. Even when we suffer consequences for things we’ve done wrong, His mercy and grace will soften the blow of those consequences.
When things don’t seem to be working out for you day after day, take it to the Lord in prayer. It may be what you’re going through is just a consequence of living in an evil world. If that is the case, He will comfort you. On the other hand, God may be allowing those things to bring you deeper into prayer, so He can guide you to a new level of relationship with Him. Whatever the reason, you can know that He loves you and is guiding you into a “peaceful harvest of right living,” regardless of what comes along.
Have a great week and God bless.