You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin; and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons,
“MY SON, DO NOT REGARD LIGHTLY THE DISCIPLINE OF THE LORD, NOR FAINT WHEN YOU ARE REPROVED BY HIM; FOR THOSE WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE DISCIPLINES, AND HE SCOURGES EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES.”
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? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. 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 12:4-11 (emphasis added; all caps is quoting Proverbs 3:11-12)
This passage explains the nature of God’s dealings with us in this life. I have put in bold print the central idea: God deals with us as a father deals with his sons, or, to put it more broadly, as parents deal with their children.
Simply put, children need discipline. As Paul suggests, without discipline, children might as well be parentless.
A child does not come into the world already trained to deal with life. They must be taught. While they are young, children learn how to deal with authority by learning to honor their parents. It’s all very simple for them. As they mature, children learn that authority comes in all shapes and sizes and we have to learn to deal with it.
The poorest-performing adults are those without discipline. Do we think then that God would not discipline us in our search for spiritual maturity? Life is manageable for those who accept it as hard; life is a disaster for those who expect it to be easy. Accept discipline from the Lord; it’s your ticket to life.
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth to the day.)
Lord, when I come to Your word, I sometimes feel stung by Your rebuke. And I thank You for this…(this is where you remain quiet to let Him work in your thoughts)… Amen.
(All scriptures, unless otherwise noted, are taken from the NASB.)