Hebrews 12:5-11 (ESV)
5 And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?
“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by Him.
6 For the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and chastises every son whom He receives.”
7 It is for discipline that you have to endure.
God is treating you as sons.
For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?
8 If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.
9 Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them.
Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live?
10 For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness.
11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
I can best comprehend the discipline of God when I compare it to parental discipline. Correction of my children’s behavior did not result from disliking them or wanting to hurt them, but discipline occurred when they disobeyed authority or when their choices needed some course corrections.
The purpose in those undesirable, painful, displeasing moments of their lives was to improve their characters…to mold them for obedient usefulness to One greater than me. While I could not just fix their negative traits, I hoped to direct them in ways which were good, better – to help bring to maturity the children I loved with all my heart.
I look at these verses and remember that God allows me to walk some unpleasant paths, feel some undesirable rebukes, sense course corrections because I’m still not as mature as He wants me to be. Whenever will I pass that ‘finished’ point, reach the stage of maturity, or be grown into His image as much as He intends me to be? Only when He’s done with me here.
In Experiencing God Day-By-Day Blackaby says,
“…in order to experience God to the degree He wants you to, there will be adjustments He will ask of you.
Are you prepared for Christ to reveal Himself to you in dimensions that will change your life?
Are you willing to abandon that which makes you comfortable?”
My prayer today is that I will remember who I am: His child, clay in His hands. He isn’t done with me yet. I am willing to be molded as He shapes me into a better person than I was yesterday.
If my life continues to be lived in total surrender to Him, the proof will be in my willingness for His improvements to my character. He will instruct, purify, establish, and it’s all for my good…no matter the length of my days.