Monday, January 19, 2009

today I was thinking about God's discipline

The Bible says that God disciplines those whom he loves. He loves so many, and disciplines much, but, I can only think of one time a Christian friend referred to something specific--the loss of her husband's job--and said, "...and we know that God disciplines those whom he loves..."

Honestly, I was stunned. It wasn't pity. I wasn't painful for her to say. It wasn't really anything, but faith. But, she called it discipline. It wasn't out of a feeling of guilt (as far as I knew, of course), but just trusting God's hand.

I have more thoughts. But, in the meantime, I'll ask how you see the troubles in your life. Do you see them as sometimes, never or always God's discipline. I mean, I don't even know what I'd say...just thinking about it...and have some things I want to share when I have time.

7 comments:

Laurie Lynn said...

Hi Jenna,
Since you asked;
To say 'never' would surely be unbiblical.
I think troubles can be God's direct discipline, which is a good thing, OR troubles can be because we live in a fallen world. It's the nature of the fall. Ya know? But when it all comes down, even God's discipline is grace and love, though it doesn't seem like it at the time.

Hebrews 12:11 "All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness."

Sarah said...

I really appreciated what Laurie Lynn said...God's refining love...conforming us into His holiness...for His glory. I know I've said to you before that as painful as these last few years have been, I never would've seen some of the prideful sin in my life. Love you and miss you - SARAH

Mandy said...

All I can tell you is this: I prayed that portion of scripture for myself a couple years ago and it is a prayer that God takes seriously. Anytime this portion of scripture comes up in a small group setting or otherwise, I always share my testimony. Upon praying that prayer, I came into the darkest season I have ever experienced in my walk with the Lord. It was a time of trial where I was forced to surrender every ounce of control that I was so tightly clinging to. God purged me of every ounce of me until there was nothing left to rely upon but Him. I prayed to die many times during that season. It was truly one of those times where I could have easily agreed with Paul when he says that it would be better to die and be with the Lord. Every morning, however, God's mercies were new and I found a way, with utter reliance upon His grace, to make it through another day.

I just made a short story long but this passage is very near to my heart. I pray to never be brought into that kind of trial again (although I probably will- due to my stubborn self and the sin that I am constantly at odds with) but I am sincerely reminded of this passage each and every day. To me, it is a beautiful picture of God's grace and how He will go to any measure to make us more like His son and receive the glory for it.

Mandy said...

and by the way, I just realized I compared my suffering to Paul's (LOL). I am sure it doesn't even compare...

Karla Anne said...

It took me a long time, as a Christian, to understand the difference between discipline and punishment. I would sin and then fear that God was going to "get" me. Just as we, as parents, discipline our children because we love them and want to steer them in the direction that will bring happiness and blessing, God lovingly disciplines us. It is always for our good, though it may not seem that way at the time.

Joel said...

Jenna,

Our entire year in OH was discipline. In the midst of the pain, we knew it was His discipline. Even when we did not know if we would be rescued, we knew it was discipline that was for our good.
I hope I can say the same the next time we're disciplined.

Jenna said...

I love all these comments. And, truly, I treasure your honesty. I'm really going to get my thoughts together soon.

But, quickly, I'll say I feel God's discipline every day. There's the discipline required of an athlete and there's the discipline required for a naughty child. So, in one form or another I feel it. More later.