Key Verse Hebrews 12:7: Endure trials for the sake of discipline. God is treating you as children; for what child is there whom a parent does not discipline?
Have you ever thought that God may give some of us the experience of parenting (all of us have the experience of being a child) just so we can see what it’s like for God to have to deal with all of us? Parents love their children but they have to discipline their children. Kids need to know where the boundaries are in order to be safe. The same is true for all of us. God loves us enough to discipline us because we need to know where the boundaries are in order to be safe. We are free in some ways but not in others. We’re not free to break the rules without suffering the consequences. If you put your hand on a hot stove, you get burned. You’re free to put your hand there!
The discipline of the Lord is a good thing. God loves humanity enough to discipline us. We experience that on a personal level but we also experience it on a corporate level. As a nation we are free – but not from the consequences.
We’re not “illegitimate.” We belong to God. Discipline is always painful but Hebrews reminds us, “But later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” (12:11)
I need your discipline in my life, O Lord. We need your discipline as a people. We’re grateful that you love us enough to teach us your ways. As painful as it may be, thank you for the kind of love that disciplines us in our time of need. Amen.
Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].