Monday 2 April, 2018

Hebrews 12:4-7

4 In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5 And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says, “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, 6 because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.” 7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father?

Do I believe that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him”? and “He will never leave me nor forsake me.” Irrespective of what happens to me do I still see God as infinitely loving and kind.

Yet we still suffer hardship. If he loves us, why do we go through these things? It sometimes feels that God doesn’t care.

With my own kids and now my Granddaughter there have been times when I withheld things for a moment. Did I hate them when I did that? Of course not. I loved them desperately. But I wanted them to learn the right way to ask, the right way to behave or not to be selfish.

There were times when I had to discipline them either by holding something back or punishing them for a short time and it nearly broke my heart.  It was incredibly difficult to be firm. Yet I loved them so much and they needed to learn a vital life lesson.

We know it is damaging for a child to grow up without boundaries. We know we learn self-discipline by having to respond to external discipline.  That is why we can be encouraged to “endure hardship as discipline”. At these times God is treating us, in love, as his children.

We don’t need to doubt his love or his forgiveness rather we can absolutely embrace his discipline knowing that it is for our good. Through those experiences God will ultimately demonstrate that he indeed loves us and will use all things to cause us to grow in Him.

Father I pray that, you help me as a disciple of Christ to submit joyfully under your discipline. Cause me to grow from faith to faith.  Teach me walk in Your righteousness.

Written by Shaun O’Neill

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