On Divine Discipline

Last night, in our Tabletalk daily devotional it talked about how we should not only thank God for when He provides for us and such, but we ought to remember to thank Him when we feel his hand of chastisement upon us as well. 

11 My son, do not despise the Lord‘s discipline
or be weary of his reproof,
12 for the Lord reproves him whom he loves,
as a father the son in whom he delights.  (Proverbs 3)

Just as any parent should discipline their children, so our loving heavenly Father does with us as well. And we should rejoice in this.

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? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 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. (Hebrews 12)

Yes, discipline does seem painful … but remember the pain is not everlasting and it is never close to what we actually deserve for our sinful ways. Our Father is so gracious to us! Remember, when our Sovereign Lord disciplines you it is a reminder that you are His. You have been bought with a price. You are a child of God! (You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men. 1 Cor. 7:23)   

Calvin comments on Hebrews 12:7-11:

“It hence follows that the benefit of adoption is not valued by us as it ought to be, and that the grace of God is wholly rejected when we seek to withdraw ourselves from his scourges; and this is what all they do who bear not their afflictions with patience.”

“Furthermore, we have had fathers of our flesh”, “This comparison has several parts: the first is, that if we showed so much reverence to the fathers from whom we have descended according to the flesh, as to submit to their discipline, much more honour is due to God who is our spiritual Father; another is, that the discipline which fathers use as to their children is only useful for the present life, but that God looks farther, having in view to prepare us for an eternal life; and the third is, that men chastise their children as it seems good to them, but that God regulates his discipline in the best manner, and with perfect wisdom, so that there is nothing in it but what is duly ordered. He then, in the first place, makes this difference between God and men, that they are the fathers of the flesh, but he of the spirit; and on this difference he enlarges by comparing the flesh with the spirit.” Source

I pray that I learn to more fully submit to the discipline of my Father instead of shrinking from it like a spoiled child. Lord, help me to remember my flesh is fallen and that I do not know what is best for me. You are sovereign and eternal over all. You, Father, only you, know what I need. Thank you for reminding, sometimes harshly and others gently, that I am the daughter of the King of Kings. That I was adopted with the precious blood of Christ and have been called to a life set apart. Never take from me your hand of chastisement, Lord – I need it daily. Forever, keep calling me back to the cross.

God would not rub so hard if it were not to fetch out the dirt that is ingrained in our natures. God loves purity so well He had rather see a hole than a spot in His child’s garments.
—William Gurnall

Be Blessed,

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3 thoughts on “On Divine Discipline

  1. Yes, Hollie!! I even share this with our children when they're experiencing painful discipline….oh, be thankful for this time. I wish I had learned this earlier, too.

  2. This is such an excellent post Hollie! Recognizing and then appreciating God's discipline in our lives is a mark of grace in itself, isn't it. That He would love us enough to correct and train us is an amazing thing! And the Lord's discipline is not always a form of chastiment for a particular wrong doing on our part, but oftentimes it's for molding our character to become more like Him. Much like an athlete suffers pain and buffets his body that he might win the prize. Blessings!

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