Hebrews 12:11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
Discipline has a negative connotation but its origin is from the Latin discipulus meaning “pupil”.
When my children (my “pupils”) were born, I nursed them on demand feeding schedule as they cried for food. But to allow them to mature, survive, and thrive in the world they would need to navigate, I began to train them to wait a little longer between feedings. The wait made them uncomfortable and at times they would whine a little bit but I could tell when they were very hungry. I would not deprive them if they were really hungry. When they were ready, I gave them solid food. I have been on stand by to support them and give them what they need but because I love them and desire that they mature and become good citizens who will be assets and not liabilities to the world, I do not give them everything they want. This is how an imperfect parent such as I would seek to discipline my children.
Matthew 7:11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
When I thought of how I want to teach my “pupils”, I thought that in God’s perfect way, He must be wanting to teach us how to survive and thrive in a world we need to navigate, to mature and become good citizens of heaven who would be able to help others.
Philippians 3:20a But our citizenship is in heaven
That helped to renew my mind into appreciating that the times of hardship, God works out for our good. It also confirms that we are God’s children.
Hebrews 12:7-8 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all.
I pray that the next time we encounter hardship, we would remember that God is teaching and maturing us, that even if it is unpleasant at the time, it will produce a harvest of righteousness and peace for us.
Righteousness is a breastplate of protection to help us stand firm against the enemy of our souls (Eph 6:14). God’s kind of peace—experienced amidst and not in the absence of the certain trials that come (James 1:2)— will carry us through and keep us steadfast through life.
Thank You for Your plans to give us a hope and future and for using our hardship to give us the necessary training so that Your good purposes in our lives may be accomplished in Jesus’s name amen.