Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, 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. Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees.
No one likes to be disciplined. But we all understand that at times, disciplining our children is important, even critical, for their well-being.
The same is true for God’s children. At times it is important, even critical, for him to discipline us. Discipline, sometimes painful discipline, is used by God to make us stronger. Painful trouble is not fun, but God allows it. He allows it, but not because he wants you further away from him. No! Just the opposite is true. He uses trouble and tribulation to draw you closer to him.
When you face trials in your life, remember that God is not punishing you for sin. Jesus already took your punishment in full on the cross. Hear God proclaim his love for you as he forgives all your sins. Listen to God’s care for you when he tells his highest goal for you is an eternity at his side in heaven. Know that he loves you dearly and deeply. The pain you’re experiencing does not disprove that love. Rather, God says this painful discipline emphatically proves his love for you. Through it, God promises “righteousness and peace.” These blessings are yours in Christ.
God may allow very difficult things into the lives of his children. But Christ’s followers know God’s intent is not to cruelly treat his children. God’s desire is to turn our eyes and hearts to him and his Word. God’s goal is to grow our faith as we trust in his promises. Our almighty, all-wise, and loving God will use even painful troubles to discipline us, and “produce a harvest of righteousness and peace.” This pain is temporary. Our joy with God in heaven will be eternal.
Heavenly Father, increase my trust in you when you allow trouble into my life. Drive me back to your Word and your strength. Pull me close to you with your sure promises and love. Amen.