Chastisement (discipline), ah yes, one of our favorite words in the Christian community. Although, it does seem as if some take this word to mean punishment; which in reality, is quite the opposite -believe it or not. Has it occurred to any of us that discipline actually leads to peace? Look at what the Bible has to say about it: Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby (Hebrews 12:11). Discipline leads to peace, but there is a stipulation: we must allow ourselves to be trained by it. We must be willing to learn the lessons involved. That might be stating the obvious, but you’d be surprised by how many resist it. The harder you fight against discipline, the harder the lesson will be to learn. It’s vital to stay teachable!
Successful discipline requires humility. You cannot point the finger at other people when you are experiencing hardship due to your bad decisions or even rebellion. You cannot hope to change for the better without a willingness to see things about yourself you may find distasteful. Sometimes, we can be blind to our shortcomings, and they require chastisement to expose them. Until you see things from God’s perspective, you may believe those shortcomings are okay; even though, they are doing you more harm than good. In fact, they are robbing you of peace. Without righteousness there is no peace. Any shortcoming void of righteousness is also void of peace. Moreover, they come between you and God, especially if they go unchecked. Remember, truth leads to freedom (see John 8:31-32).
While going through the experience of correction, you may feel as if God hates you, or is punishing you. Because God is love, He will always do what is beneficial to you. If it doesn’t benefit you, it’s not on Him; it’s on you. That may sound like a strong statement, but think about it. If you refuse correction, things may very well get worse. Peace will continue to elude you. Remember the stipulation.
Hebrews 12:3-6 For consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of Him: For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth.
Who is the Ultimate Example of humility? Jesus. Consider another passage of Scripture: Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered (Hebrews 5:8). By all means read the entire chapter to get full context of the verse. Now think about this: if Jesus endured hardship, who are we to not endure it as well? Chastisement is a sign of love on God’s part, and obedience is a sign of ours (see John 14:15).
Hebrews 12:1-2 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith; Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the Cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
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