“God works even in our pain and fear.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – September 3, 2023
…the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in. Proverbs 3:12
There have been times in my life I have wondered about the Lord’s discipline. Exactly how does He discipline us and why does He do it?
Hebrews 12:7 says, “Endure hardship as discipline.”
This scripture reveals God disciplines us through difficult circumstances. Some of these circumstances come from our sin; some come from someone else’s sin that affects us, and some just come from the trouble of life.
God can use any difficult circumstance to discipline us.
To ensure hardship as discipline says we need to trust God has our best interest in mind, that every difficult circumstance, no matter how awful, is being used by Him for our good and His glory.
But it isn’t always easy to trust God during difficult times. Why?
First, because we may not have the right perspective of the Lord. We may not trust His heart and His love. Instead, we may see Him as mean, angry, or hateful.
This reminds me of a college friend who only saw Scriptures of wrath and punishment when she opened the Bible. She feared God and didn’t believe He loved her, so rather than being able to rejoice in her circumstances and trust He was working all things together for her good, she languished under the weight of feeling she wasn’t good enough and that the Lord wanted to punish her when she did something wrong.
If we have the wrong view of God when we go through troubles, we won’t be able to count it all joy (James 1:2) and we won’t be able to see that His discipline is done in love. Instead, we will blame him and become angry with Him, perhaps even feeling betrayed and abandoned. But, the Lord wants us to have a deep conviction that we are held in His loving hands and that we are blessed in difficult times.
Why does God discipline us?
Hebrews 12:10 says, “God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in His holiness.”
The purpose of God’s discipline is never to punish. Punishment is rooted in fear, but God’s discipline is rooted in love, because Love is who He is.
Discipline is never to subtract from us, but always to add to us so that we can become more like Christ. Even if that means God is removing bad habits or ungodly behaviors from us by disciplining us.
If the purpose of hardship is for us to share in His holiness, we must trust God knows exactly what kind of hardship and how much hardship to allow in our lives to make us more like Him.
He will never give us more than we can handle with His power.
During our time of discipline, it can be very difficult to see what God is doing. It’s only after we look back that we can see how He was molding, shaping, and changing us. It’s only after we have moved through the storm that we can see the purpose. As a result, we will experience greater faith and our relationship with Christ will be stronger.
Are you going through a difficult time? Remember that everything that happens in your life is filtered through His loving hand, and that He will never betray you.
“For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love” (1 John 4:18).
Lord, thank you for your loving discipline that is making me more like you. Help me to submit to you and not fight with you during tough times. I love you. Amen.
Talk with the Lord about what you are experiencing in your life. If you are going through difficulties, tell Him that you trust Him.
Hillsong Worship: God So Loved
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