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 children at all. Hebrews 12: 7 & 8
Our parents disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, 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 10 & 11(NIV)
For a long time I envisioned discipline as a consequence of doing wrong. As children we experienced it from our parents and when we became parents we administered it. Not to say that viewpoint is wrong, discipline does come as a result of disobedience. However during my devotional time this morning, in reading the passage of Hebrews mentioned above, my heart focused on the very first part of verse 7 : Endure hardship as discipline. I saw that even though I may sin and need to chastened by the Lord sometimes, there was another form of discipline I was called to endure. It was the discipline that came not from my sinning but from the hardship that life sometimes throw at me.
God never lets our situations go to waste and the writer of Hebrews was saying to me, even in the midst of hardship that you didn't necessarily bring on yourself, God is working, so endure. God can take the unfortunate circumstances of our lives and use them to shape us. He can take them painful though they may be and teach us how to become men and women of holy character.
My family is facing some hardships now, as many families are, but God spoke to my heart this morning and said, Vickie this may be painful now, but if you would endure, this same hardship will produce a harvest of righteousness and peace. This is your training ground for the new level I am taking you to. Don't grumble, don't complain, there is better waiting for you. If I didn't love you, I would just watch on the sidelines, hoping that you all make it out in one piece. Instead I am Your Lily of the Valley, right there with you, using this time to perfect you.
My encouragement to you today is to endure. Endure whatever hardship you are facing now. Endure it as discipline. See it not as punishment but see it as discipline from a loving Father, for He disciplines us for our good.