Disciplined for our Good

Do not despise the chastening (education, training, disciplinary correction) of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him.
— Hebrews 12:5

Who can understand the distresses and perplexities of life? We experience grief, loss, pain and sorrow and wonder why. Surely life only becomes intelligible when we regard it as an education. The best explanation for all of our woes is that we are being schooled for something higher – something greater than this life alone. We struggle to find any rhyme or reason for much of what we go through when really there is no explanation outside of the concept that this is God’s school for us. Life is as an education.

We have been deceived in our society to believe that the chief aim of life is to be happy. The problem is, when pain and sorrow come our way this warped view of our existence causes us to question whether God really is loving or if He exists at all. But where does God say that His chief desire for us is to be happy? Or where has He promised that life will be without heartache? Yet people quit school, jobs, and even marriages all because, “Well, I am just not happy.” The truth is however, God’s chief purpose for us is not happiness but holiness. It is to this end that He is educating us – working in our lives to make us more like His Son, Jesus Christ. This education not only includes instruction, but correction and discipline are also part of the training. How do we respond when it comes? Do we rebel against it? Do we simply submit to it? Or do we actually embrace God’s chastening, knowing that “afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” To restrain and govern a child shows you care. In the same way, our heavenly Father will not allow us to “get away” with stuff that will lead to our ruin. So when you find yourself disciplined by God, rejoice! It is evidence that He loves you. “For whom the Lord loves He chastens.” We discipline our children that it may stand them in good stead through the rest of their lives here on earth, but God is disciplining us for a life of holiness that will last for all eternity!

- From Study #5169