It is very easy to acknowledge the love of God. The sad thing is that most of us, who love God, tend to focus on the benefits of love and not the responsibilities of love. One of the responsibilities of love, is wanting the best for the person who is the focus of our love. Ask any parent, who loves their child: to bring the best out of them, has a responsibility to discipline, which is not always pleasant for a parent.
No one enjoys discipline. Ever say to your parents: “Thank you for that smack, grounding me, taking away my privileges.” But discipline is a necessary part of love. Ever looked at someone else’s children and thought: they need a good hiding! There are people who say that the world would be a better place if parents had not “spared the rod and spoiled the child.” Discipline and parenting go hand in hand.
Yet, as children of God, when we think of our Father in heaven, the last thing we expect is that He will discipline us. Somehow, because He loves us, it is not supposed to include discipline, as this would not be a demonstration of His love.
The truth is: that because He is our Father and we are His children; every believer should expect discipline.
“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,
because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.’ (Heb 12:5-6)
We are to expect discipline as children of God. It proves that we ARE His children and part of His family. A child not disciplined, shames the family. Ask any mother who has been embarrassed by her child in public.
Have you been disciplined lately? Perhaps what you are experiencing is actually discipline. If no discipline: ask yourself – why not?
Scripture clearly states that those that are not disciplined by God, are illegitimate children, i.e. They do not belong to God in union and suffer from a hardened heart.
“If you are not disciplined – and everyone undergoes discipline – then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! 10 They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness.” (Heb 12:8-10)
Discipline is part of being God’s child and He does it for our good, to bring the best out of us. We are disciplined, not IN SPITE of following Christ, but BECAUSE we follow Christ.
God does not discipline unbelievers, He leaves them to the consequence of their sin and final judgement. (Psalm 73:18-22). When we decide to align ourselves with Christ, we become God’s children and then automatically qualify for His discipline because of His love for us.
Some hardship that we experience in life, note not ALL hardship, is part of God’s discipline. We are told to:
“Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father?” (Heb 12:7)
Perhaps the next time you are going through a difficult time, ask yourself, if your experience may be part of God’s discipline?
Thank you, Lord, that you love me. I now understand that when I experience hardship and difficulty, it is part of being disciplined by a Father who loves me. It proves that I am your child and I can take comfort in the fact that this discipline is for my good and is motivated by Your love for me. Help me to expect discipline and pay attention to it. Let me heart not object to it, because that would be like objecting to the love you have for me.