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Embracing the Lord’s Discipline with Gladness

5 Mins read

When times are tough, the people of God can grow tired and discouraged. It is during challenging times that a fork appears in the road. One of the paths that the Christian can choose to travel down involves sin. The other path that the Christian can travel down is the path that consists of the Lord’s will.

The Scriptures make it clear that God does not tempt His children to sinful actions. There will never be a single event in one’s life that God has put in the way to tempt the believer to go contrary to the will of God. Nevertheless, there will be times in the life of a believer when his heart will be tempted, and if he gives into the temptation, it will lead to sin.

The discipline of the Lord can bring about temptation in the heart of man. Once again, the temptation is not from God. James has made this point clear in the first chapter of his letter. However, the heart of man is flawed and needs to be continually cleansed in order to serve the Lord.

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There will be times in the life of the Christian when the affliction that he is encountering is actually the discipline of the Lord. The Bible also makes it clear that God’s discipline is a blessing and not a curse. The discipline of God is always restorative and never has a desired end of destruction.

However, there are some areas that must be addressed. The believer must be reminded of the way in which he must view the discipline that the Lord brings his way. He must have the right mindset about it all. Solomon can help us on this point.

Despising discipline

At the outset, the Christian must never despise the Lord’s discipline. Scripture says, “My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord…” (KJV, Prov. 3:11). There would be no point in Solomon stating such a thing if what he said was not a problem that the people of God would face. Solomon was as wise as they come. Was he perfect? Absolutely not! Nevertheless, the Lord blessed him with wisdom that is beyond the ability to comprehend. Solomon was a remarkable man to say the least.

In Proverbs 3:11, Solomon brings to light the sinful state of the human heart before God. Solomon states in simple terms that man is prone to despise the discipline of the Lord. Man is prone to grow cold toward his Creator when things get tough. This is an area of concern that must be brought to light.

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Jesus warned His disciples that in this life, there will be tribulation. This world will bring about great trouble, and the Christian will at times feel the weight of it all. However, not only that, there will be times when the God of creation will discipline the believer.

What is one of the surest marks of discipline? Pain. People hate pain. People do not want to experience pain, and they flee from it at all costs. People strive to live in luxury and to live a life of ease and comfort. Therefore, when the discipline of the Lord comes knocking on their door, what do they do? Oftentimes the response is not to love the pain and see the good in it, but rather to despise the discipline of the Lord – and even the God behind the discipline.

Weary of reproof

When you encounter someone who despises the discipline of the Lord, you will often see in that person someone who is weary of God’s reproof. Scripture says, “My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of his correction” (Prov. 3:11). When a Christian begins to grow weary, he can begin at the same moment to grow self-focused, and this only compounds his problem.

When someone is self-focused, he takes his eyes off of God and fixes them on himself. No good will come when the Christian is overly focused on himself. The solution to all of his problems in life will not be found somewhere within, but rather outside of himself.

The Bible has much to say about fighting against weariness. Look at the following passages:

“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Gal. 6:9).
• “But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing” (2 Thess. 3:13).
• “The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary…” (Is. 50:4).

All throughout Scripture, the Bible speaks of growing weary in a negative light. Notice Galatians 6:9. This passage speaks of the need to continually persist and not to grow weary. But why? The Bible tells us that in due time, we will reap a harvest.

Scripture also says, “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby” (Heb. 12:11). When someone perseveres through the discipline of the Lord and does not grow weary in well doing, he will yield the peaceable fruit of righteousness.

Loving reproof

Something that must be remembered, but that is often forgotten, is that God’s reproof is loving reproof. Scripture says, “For whom the Lord loveth he correcteth…” (Prov. 3:12). We are living in a day and age of tolerance. People simply desire to go their own ways and live their own lives. Anytime someone brings to light the error of their ways, the informant is labeled as ignorant of the times, close-minded, intolerant, or worse.

The moral standards present in the world today are unpleasing to the Lord. However, the vast majority of people do not want to hear about it. People seek to fashion gods out of their own image rather than embracing the fact that man has been created in the image of God.

Nevertheless, the truth of the matter is that correction and reproof, when done God’s way, are loving acts. When someone is traveling down the wrong road, what is a kind thing to do? The obvious answer is to tell them about it. While this may be true, people often view their lives as isolated from others and view truth as relative. However, truth is not relative, nor are lives isolated.

Each person has an effect on the world as a whole, and truth, by its very definition, cannot be relative. Sure, someone can think that chocolate ice cream is better than vanilla, while another person can believe that vanilla is better than chocolate. But these are simply matters of opinion, not matters of truth.

Either Jesus is the way and the truth and the life, or He is not. Either He is the only way to the Father, or He is not. This cannot be both true and untrue at the same time.

The Bible makes it clear that God’s reproof is loving, and it must be seen as such. In a world where people do not want to be told they are wrong, it must be seen that Satan is the father of lies, and we must be encountered by God’s loving reproof time and time again.

The love of the Father

Finally, the Christian must never forget that behind it all is a loving Father. What type of father would allow his children to stray and pay no mind to the fact that they are walking down the wrong path? This would not be an act of love; it would be an act of negligence. Scripture says, “For whom the Lord loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth” (Prov. 3:12). The Bible makes it clear that when God the Father delights in one of His children, He will also be sure to chasten that same child when necessary.

Let this bring comfort and assurance of salvation. Do not despise the Lord’s discipline, and do not be weary when encountering His reproof.

Final prayer

Father, I thank You for the many times that You have helped me along the way. I do still need You to guide me and lead me in the direction that I ought to go. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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