READ : Hebrews 12:7-11
. . . discipline . . . yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. (v. 11)
No lesson in God’s School of Life Blessings is more important (or less welcome) than
this one. It’s the internship in discipline, and that means hard times. The Bible is so
clear on this point that it even uses the learning pattern of an old-fashioned childhood
as an illustration – listen, learn, obey, disobey, get smacked, get loved up, then
listen and learn all over again. Those of us who are old enough will recognize this.
The school works like this: all followers of Jesus, his pupils so to speak, are sent
out with a mission assignment and a backpack full of supplies. The assignment is nearly
always suited to your God-given gifts and talents, but sometimes the teacher will surprise
you. The pupil scared of public speaking becomes the preacher. The pupil sensitive to dirt
and dust becomes the missionary. Odd assignments happen. But our backpacks are full of
great and precious promises, all linked by strong allegiance to the Master whose divine
power we share, often in ways we can’t imagine (2 Peter 1:3-4). Along the way, we will
have tests to take, in order to learn the life-skills that make our Teacher very happy.
Notes on these life-skills are scattered throughout the Bible, so read it regularly and
often, and apply what you read. Trouble is bound to come; sometimes it gets very serious.
Look out for “loss of heart” and remember always that God disciplines “whom he loves”
Lord, in testing and trouble, hold me steady and lead me to peace.