“My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.” Proverbs 3:11-12
The author of the Letter to the Hebrews quotes Proverbs 3:11-12 in Chapter 12. He goes on to teach us that discipline from God has a goal: to produce a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Spend a few minutes reading the section from Hebrews 12:4-11.
Two things stand out. First, there is joy in knowing that we are God’s children. Every trial and tribulation we face, if seen through a lens of discipline is a reminder that God is our Father, and we are loved! It might sound backward, but it’s true. Every time we face a challenge it’s evidence of our adoption as God’s children. I guess this is how Paul can say, “we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” Romans 5:3-5
Every piece of suffering is an opportunity to rejoice that God loves us as His children, and is working to make us even better!
The second thing that stands out in Hebrews 12 is the goal: a harvest! God doesn’t bring about discipline for the sake of punishing us in any way. Instead, God uses discipline to produce fruit in us. He has in mind a better future for us. Something important is missing in our lives today. God chooses to use struggle to grow fruit in us. Next time you’re facing a tough challenge, remind yourself that it may be hard right now, but God is growing something great for the future!