Endure hardship as discipline;
God is treating you as his children.
For what children are not disciplined by their father?
If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—
then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all.
Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it.
How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live!
They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best;
but God disciplines us for our good,
in order that we may share in his holiness.
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.
Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace
for those who have been trained by it.
HEBREWS 12:7-11 (NIV)
I was home alone. It was the day before Dave and I were leaving for Sloan Kettering in New York where he was to have his left arm amputated.
They had announced via the national media that Dave was going to have the amputation and now our phone was ringing off the hook. People from all over the country were calling to tell Dave not to have the amputation –they told us to have more faith – they shared that God does not intend for us to suffer.
Still, in the throes of a dark depression and a mind that felt like a rusty computer, I can remember hanging up the phone for the tenth time that day and feeling nothing but confusion. I grabbed my Bible and threw myself on the floor in our family room.
I cried out to God and I pleaded, “If you don’t intend for us to suffer then why are we suffering? Father, it can’t be this hard. Please take away the confusion and show me Your Truth.”
I had placed the Bible before me on the floor and as I opened my tear filled eyes the Bible had opened up to Hebrews 12 and my blurred vision then focused clearly on verse 7 “Endure all hardship as discipline; for God is treating you as his children…”
As discipline. It didn’t say hardship was discipline. It didn’t say God was bending us over the bed and beating our backsides to get us to straighten up. It said to endure hardship the same way you would endure your parents’ discipline. And how do we do that? By submitting to it, enduring it and learning from it.
I skimmed through the passage and stopped at verse 11: “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”
Peace, That is what I needed. That is what I so desperately longed for. I realized then that peace would come but that it would come later, as the fruit of my struggle, as the harvest of a long growing season. What I needed until that harvest was a farmer’s patience.
I also needed to trust the love of my heavenly Father and know He was there in the midst of our pain and confusion. He was leading and teaching us for our good so that we may share in His holiness and the result was a peace that surpassed all understanding.
Be assured that God is in the midst of your pain and you can trust Him to guide and lead you through any valley. As you submit, endure and learn from it there will be a harvest of righteousness and peace for you –
God disciplines and teaches us because He loves us.
Though the Lord gave you adversity for food
and suffering for drink,
he will still be with you to teach you.
You will see your teacher with your own eyes.
Your own ears will hear him.
Right behind you a voice will say,
“This is the way you should go,”
whether to the right or to the left.
ISAIAH 30:20-21 (NLT)
On the journey with you,