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 12:11, ESV).My daughter has recently taken upon herself the role of my personal trainer and she's good at it. I have the sore muscles to prove it! Because we love each other and want to be healthier, stronger women, we are holding each other accountable for our commitment to eat healthier and exercise as often as our schedules allow. Are we having fun? Not always, but we know that in the end our discipline will have its desired result.
So it is with God's discipline. It is more often painful than pleasant "but it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it." Think of those times in your life that have been hard -- when that relationship disintegrated or the money ran out and you were left holding an empty bag. At the time you might have wondered, "Where is God now?" But if you turned to him in prayer, earnestly seeking his will for your life, you know he never left your side. Though you couldn't see it then, in hindsight you know that through your difficulty his plan was to draw you nearer to him.
I have struggled with many things over the years -- relational disharmony in my family, a broken heart, and a financial reversal as a result of a job loss -- but I wouldn't trade any of those things, even if I could. They were filtered through the loving hands of God, who knew that I needed a little "discipline" in order to learn how truly great and loving he is.
If you are struggling right now, I pray you "do not despise the Lord's discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights" (Proverbs 3:11-12, ESV). Sometimes it takes a little pain in life for us to gain the peaceful fruit of righteousness and a closer walk with the God who loves us so much that he gave his only son to redeem us for himself.
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