Discipline: Endure

“Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father?” (Hebrews 12:7)

Way too many of us Christians have kind of blocked this part of Hebrews 12 out of our Bibles. Every once in a while we read it by accident and think, “God uses hardship to discipline His children? Hmm. I don’t like that idea. Wonder what’s in Hebrews 13?”

trail_350The ideas we like are a) all of a believer’s sins are forgiven because of Jesus’ death on the cross (true!); b) we are no longer “objects of wrath;” we will not be punished/condemned for our sin (true!); and nothing can steal us away from God our Father (true!). But would a God who loved us enough to sacrifice his only “birth son” to bring us into his family not also love us enough to discipline us (note: not “punish”) when we start living in worthless, destructive direction?

This passage says that’s exactly what he does. He cares about us way too much to just let us do our own rebellious thing for very long. He uses the hardship in our lives to give us the chance to come running back to him, to trust him again, to believe again that our Father loves us enough to show us the best path for our lives.

Think: Have you ever gone through a hard time and wondered if God might have been using it to help get you moving in a right direction again? How did you respond to that idea?

Pray: Thank God that he loves you enough to discipline you.

Do: Ask a wise and caring dad (not your own) how and why he disciplines his kids and how he feels about it.