walk in the word
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. —Hebrews 12:7-8
What does real love do? Hebrews 12:7-8 tells the good, loving, but hard truth that love, at times, includes discipline. Your Father loves you in ways your earthly father and mother could only hope to love you on their best days. Everything God allows is for your growth and good. He sees the big picture, even when you can’t, and He lovingly draws near to you even in times of learning—“God is treating you as sons.”
This passage tells us two important things God’s love does: it disciplines and expects us to endure the discipline. God’s discipline actually starts when we are still sinners by demonstrating love in a way we can never deserve. Romans 5:8 tells us, “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” God loves us while we’re still sinners, but once we know that love and surrender to Him, He refuses to leave us in that condition. He begins to discipline us, reproducing in each of us the character of His Son.
The best way we can express our appreciation for God’s love is by accepting and benefiting from the discipline He allows. Or to put it in the language of Hebrews 12:7, to endure the discipline—to stay in it until it produces the results God has in mind. The more we learn to endure, the greater the benefits we experience from God’s discipline.
Once we’re on His plan, God’s love makes it difficult for us to settle for getting older while remaining an adolescent Christian. Enduring God’s discipline means we want to grow up in the Lord and trust our heavenly Father, even when we don’t understand what He’s doing. God wants us to learn to trust that He is smarter than we are. He knows what we really need. And His love does what is necessary to meet those needs. His discipline is always for our good.
How is God’s love impacting you today? You may be in a trial as a discipline from your loving Father. You may be feeling His sadness over times when only hardship causes you to learn. Don’t overlook what you discover about His love from the trials or discipline you endure. Your ongoing transformation can always be traced back to the things God’s love does in your life.
What are some examples of hardship you have experienced that you know are examples of God’s loving discipline?
How does enduring discipline look in your life?
Father, thank You for loving me in and through Your Son Jesus in ways beyond what I can express. I realize the best way I can show my gratitude is to welcome all You are doing in my life to conform me to Christ’s character. Forgive me for my resistance and reluctance. Thank You for not giving up on me and for disciplining me even in ways You know I won’t like. I realize that is Your love in action, always doing for me what I am neither smart enough nor willing enough to pursue on my own. Please accept today my willingness to endure more readily and love You back more deeply for all You have graciously done for me. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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