Hebrews 12:5b-6 “My Son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by Him; for those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives.”
Discipline is a key for any person’s success. When a child is young his parents set about to teach him how to be disciplined. This is a part of the maturing process. Along the way there are others who contribute to the process of learning discipline. For many these people are their coaches.
A few weeks ago dozens of families gathered at our local high school to watch as their athletes were awarded for their participation with the school’s fall sport teams. Many teams and individual players excelled and their successes resulted in certificates, pins, and other honors and recognitions. These accomplishments didn’t just happen. Hard work, perseverance, and teachable attitudes were important components. Our excellent coaches superintended the training and practices aimed at shaping teams of individuals who would work together and win. This discipline helped forge the teams’ successes.
Athletics is not the only area for which discipline is necessary. Our heavenly Father cares deeply about His children’s success in another area as well. He is not as concerned about our running time, number of tackles, or serving aces as He is about our holiness statistics. He wants our life, thoughts, actions, and desires to emulate His own. When we accept Him as our Savior He makes us a new person, and then begins the process of changing us to be more like Himself. This doesn’t happen overnight. It is a process that requires discipline. He promises that He will complete what He started in our lives, but it will not be without strict training.
Our heavenly Father will bring many kinds of exercises into our life. Some of them will be tough and we will feel very sorrowful as we submit to His methods. We may not understand what He is trying to accomplish, but we can be sure that everything He allows us to experience is for our good. We can participate in the process by seeking to know Him better through reading the Bible, communicating with Him through prayer, and gathering godly counselors around us. These activities will strengthen our hands when they are weak and our knees when they are feeble.
Today if you are struggling under the strict discipline from above, take heart! These things prove that you are truly a loved son or daughter of God. Discipline is a key factor in our success. Let God complete His perfect training and afterwards you will look back with confidence. Your holiness statistics will be high and you will receive a great reward!