Journal Entry // November 9, 2021
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 12:11 ESV
My holy Father’s tender discipline is upon me because I am his son and he loves me. He loves me so deeply that he disciplines me. He does not allow me to continue wallowing in the mud and filth of sin and shame. No, he loves me and tenderly disciplines me to train me in righteousness. The peaceful fruit of righteousness is the purpose of my discipline.
It doesn’t seem that way of course. The hand of the Lord seems heavy upon me at times. Pressing me down and stretching me thin. His discipline seems overbearing and overwhelming in the heat of the day. It is painful and difficult. It brings about heartache and weakness in my day to day life.
Why do I see God’s good work of discipline as anything other than love? It is my sin and my shame that cause me to recoil from his disciplining hand. My continued failing before my holy God. My shame and guilt grow and fester in the hidden darkness of my heart. My sin lingers there. It clings to my heart in those dark places of my heart. Those places that I refuse to deal with. Those dark places that I even feed and nourish at times. Those dark places that only bring shame are the very things I don’t want to lose.
So God brings his righteous discipline into my heart, into those very areas of my heart that are covered in darkness. He brings the light of his gospel to shine into the darkness. And when he does, through trials and suffering and adversity and sorrow, I see my heart as it truly is. I see the secret lies that lay hidden within. I see my sin. I see my shame. I see my desire to nurture and care for those hidden sins.
God’s discipline calls me to eradicate that sin and darkness. To be vigilant and ruthless in dealing with my secret sin. To see sin in my heart as God sees it. To hate my sin. To love my Father. To learn from this training how to reject the evil and embrace the good. To focus my eyes on Christ. Then and only then will I yield the peaceful fruit of righteousness. Make no mistake that this is the goal. God’s discipline is from a loving Father, rescuing his son from certain death and embracing him. That’s where I want to be. Daily fighting the battle for my heart and daily coming to my Father’s embrace. Repenting and believing. Firm and secure in his love.