Painful, confusing, and frustrating are three words we would use to describe discipline. The difficult circumstance we are in often causes severe pain. We want to hear from God and get some clear direction or clarity regarding our situation, but nothing seems to make any sense. Everything seems confusing. But all of these struggles just don’t seem to match up with our expectations and dreams about how our life should be. So we end up with lots of frustration. Sometimes it seems to be a never ending cycle of pain, confusion, and frustration.
But the Bible seems to describe such situations as “discipline.” But whatever label we put on it, that doesn’t make our situation more bearable. The Pain remains, leading to further confusion and a heightened level of frustration.
Somehow we’ve got to see God’s purpose in all of this. It’s like the individual strokes of the artist’s brush. To most observers, each stroke by itself would make no sense at all, but in the mind of the artist, there is a beautiful image that he is working towards. In a similar way our pain stands in the way of knowing that the artist is aiming toward a goal.
We have numerous expectations of how our life should be. But God has his own plans. It really takes a lot of work disciplining us to get us to his Goal. We fail to realize that his plans for us are the best and that it really is for our own good.
But when we experience all this pain, confusion and frustration, we wonder if it is worth it. Our emotions impact our ability to think logically. Years ago Andre Crouch wrote the song Through it all, through it all, I’ve learned to trust in Jesus, I’ve learned to trust in God. Will we learn the lessons that God has for us? Will we learn to trust him? Will we grow in his plans for us? Or will we fight it till the end and stay in our current situation? God wants to take us to another level in our maturity as well as our relationship with him. But that only happens as we learn to be quiet before him as he teaches us his ways.
In what ways has God disciplined you? What has been the outcome of his discipline in your life?
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