The discipline of a loving Father
And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children? He said, “My child, don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline, and don’t give up when he corrects you. For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.” As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all. Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever? Hebrews 12:5-9 When good things are happening in our lives, we call them “blessings.” But when there is an unpleasant circumstance that happens among Christians, there is an assumption to view the event as the result of “spiritual struggle.” So the tendency is to immediately ask God to remove the circumstance that could lead to sorrow. The problem is that their situation may not be because of a fight against Satan or with spiritual conflict rather it might be that you are merely experiencing the result of disobedience or rebellion towards God and that you are being disciplined by our heavenly Father. “Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant” (Galatians 6:7). What is often mistaken as Satan’s attack may actually be a disciplining from our loving Father. If you are neglecting your role as spiritual leader to your children and of your home, this could result to your children living in sin. David’s disobedience resulted in rebellion of his children towards him and God that at one point, he wept over their sinfulness. “David walked up the road to the Mount of Olives, weeping as he went. His head was covered and his feet were bare as a sign of mourning. And the people who were with him covered their heads and wept as they climbed the hill” (2 Samuel 15:30). If you have been dishonest, God may correct you by letting you face the consequences. It would be unwise to pray that God would relent in His discipline because of your discomfort. God is disciplining you so you will be drawn back to Him and His will and this will lead to bring the essential change to your life. How sad to never make the connection between your difficulties and God’s discipline. Not every hardship we face is the correction of God, but today’s passage affirms to us that God because He cares and He loves us will discipline us. If you misunderstand God’s way of humbling you so you will return to His love, this might lead you to blame Him for not answering your prayers. You might fault God of not protecting you from Satan and He allowed you to be tempted to disobey His will for your life. Yet all the while God has been warning you of the danger you are facing when you are contemplating of violating His will. Not all difficult circumstances in your life could be attributed to the disciplining of God. But once you realize that the predicament you are in was the result of your disobedience, turn to Him immediately. God because of His unfailing love will not allow sin to go unpunished. As His child, He always has your best interest in His heart. “The Lord is slow to anger and filled with unfailing love, forgiving every kind of sin and rebellion. But he does not excuse the guilty” (Numbers 14:18).