Hebrews‬ ‭12:4-11‬ ‭NIV‬‬
“In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 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.” Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. 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! 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. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”
Observation-What does it say?
The author speaks about perseverance of faith, fixing our eyes on Jesus so that we don’t grow weary and lose heart and the importance of discipline from our Heavenly Father.
Understanding-What does it mean?
Loving discipline doesn’t destroy. It builds up.
Perseverance in faith comes through fixing our eyes on Jesus and also training. Part of that training comes in the form of discipline to build our faith and trust in the One who loves us with an everlasting love.
Life Application
Love is not only in the form of grace. It is also in the form of discipline.
I’m sure all of us have heard the quote, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
I like verse 4 that says, “In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood.” Obviously, that verse is talking about Jesus and being encouraged to persevere because Jesus had to endure so much more for us.
I went through a period of my faith where I can confidently say I was undergoing discipline from my Heavenly Father as a result of rebellion. It was so hard, that the sin wasn’t even worth the the cost and the consequences of that rebellion. God was teaching me a lesson. Even though I felt He was really hard on me, I was comforted by the Holy Spirit telling me that God loves me so much and that’s why He’s disciplining me this way. I am His beloved child. He had/has plans for my life that will be hindered if I continue in the path of rebellion.
Anyhow, the discipline didn’t pull me away from the Lord. It actually trained me, strengthened my faith and deepened my relationship with Jesus. I learned from it. It’s because of how lovingly He did it. He was with me through it all and I never doubted His love for me.
Let’s talk about it in terms of working out. When we are at the gym getting stronger, it hurts at first because we are not used to the discipline and new pressure being put on our bodies and muscles to grow it. BUT, the weights start getting lighter and we are able to lift more because we’ve embraced the pain for a short while and our muscles have developed what they call “muscle memory” to it.
If you are currently undergoing discipline from our Heavenly Father, usually in the form of consequences from sin and also testing of character, embrace it! God loves you. If you are a parent or a teacher or responsible for another human being in another form, I don’t have to explain this further. We want the best for our kids and that’s why we discipline them in love.
I’d rather be disciplined by my Heavenly Father than neglected by Him.
Thank You Lord that You love us so much that You don’t neglect us and throw us away when we rebel or sin against You. Thank You that You care so much about us that You stay involved as a loving parent. It hurts when we undergo discipline and even testing of character, but I know the end results will “produce a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it” as Your Word says. It also produces deeper trust in You as our Heavenly Father. I Love You Jesus. Thank You loving me first though. Amen.
-Michelle Gaddi