Every significant task on earth requires training. The homemaker, the accountant, the pastor, the CEO all must learn somewhere and somehow. To do life in the way God intends requires training, and God Himself, our Father, is the master trainer.
Ask anyone who has been trained or is in the process. To be rightly developed requires a process that is not easy. The first step is to acclimate oneself to the rigors of what you are about to face. A soldier must endure some simulated battlefield conditions to be ready for the real thing.
We should expect nothing less from God. We often do not embrace His training. He uses difficult situations, tough relationships, hardship and suffering in ways that prepare us for all of life. Look through Hebrews, Chapter 11 at the great roll call of faith and you will see that no great man or woman was spared this discipline.
In Hebrews, Chapter 12, the writer tells us that we should not “regard lightly the discipline of the Lord nor faint when you are reproved by Him.” And, then He tells us why.
1. IT IS MOTIVATED BY PERFECT LOVE
“For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives” (vs. 6)
2. IT IS BUILDING NECESSARY CHARACTER AND SKILL WE WILL NEED
“It is for discipline that you endure” (vs. 7)
3. IT IS FROM YOUR PERFECT FATHER WHO IS TREATING YOU AS A SON
“God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live?” (vs. 7-9)
4. IT IS FOR A SHORT TIME
“For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them” (vs. 10)
5. IT IS ALWAYS FOR OUR GOOD
“He disciplines us for our good” (vs. 10)
6. IT HELPS US SHARE HIS HOLINESS SO WE BECOME LIKE HIM!
“He disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness (vs. 10)
7. ALTHOUGH HARD, IT WILL YIELD THE PEACEFUL FRUIT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
“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” (vs. 11)
Whether you realize it or not, you are always in God’s training process. Don’t resist the tougher seasons. They are developing precious qualities in you that cannot be realized any other way.
Father, help me to see Your work in me and those around me. We know you are not the author of evil, but You can use evil for my good and Your glory. Help me embrace Your sovereign working. Let me cooperate, not resist Your training in everything. Build in me what You desire to be equipped to help others the rest of my brief stay upon Your earth.