In speaking with persons who are going through difficult trials, I often hear them ask the question, ‘when will this end?” It is natural for us to want suffering and trials to be over so we can move on with more enjoyable things in life.
But what is God’s purpose in allowing us to pass through hard times? “For they [our human fathers] disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but He [God] 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 12:10–11).
Notice that there is a clear purpose in discipline. This meaning of “share” is to “receive one’s part in what belongs to someone else.” This has always been God’s plan and purpose for us. Because of our tendency to place too much priority on others things, God must use discipline in our lives so our priorities change and become His.
There is one more element in all this; our willingness to be trained by the discipline. That will produce the greatest gain. The word “trained” conveys the idea of “going under a vigorous routine and control intended to increase moral strength.” Very few are willing, much less want this kind of discipline. Would you really want to miss the spiritual benefits of the Father’s discipline that produces “the peaceful fruit of righteousness?”
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