The Good Discipline from God
“It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:7-11
Before I was saved, I found myself looking around every corner after I sinned wondering how God would “get me back” for my disobedience towards Him. I feared God, but not in a reverent way. I read my Bible, bowed my head to pray, and said kind things like a good little girl, not because I wanted to please God, but because I didn’t want to endure His wrath against my sin. This wasn’t Christianity; this was legalism.
Sometimes as believers we can still fall into this trap of believing God is out to punish us when we sin against Him. When something bad goes wrong after we sin, we think God was showing us His wrath for our disobedience. But the relieving truth of the Gospel is that our punishment for sin, God’s righteous wrath, was already endured on the cross by Christ. Because you are a child of God, you will never face God’s wrath.
But because you are a child of God, you will receive His discipline.
This discipline isn’t done in anger or vengeance; God disciplines us because He loves us. He wants our ultimate good, which is holiness; therefore, He disciplines us to lead us away from sin. There is a difference between punishment from God and discipline from God—one is to condemn a sinner, the other is to grow a saint.
Thank You for Your good discipline, God. Thank You for disciplining me so I will grow in Christlikeness. Thank You for Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, that He endured the wrath that was meant for me. Help me to remember the Gospel when I’m tempted to think legalistically and to trust Your discipline when it comes. Amen.
Spend some time in Psalm 50 today, taking note of the different response God gives to his people versus the response he gives to the wicked—noting especially the hopeful promise given in verse 15.