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“For the Lord disciplines those whom he loves, and
chastises every child whom he accepts.”
Endure trials for the sake of discipline. God is
treating you as children; for what child is there whom a
parent does not discipline?… Now, discipline always
seems painful rather than pleasant at the
time, but later yields the peaceful fruit
of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”
Hebrews 12:6-7, 11

The Houston Police Department conducted a study of juvenile delinquency and from that study published a leaflet of 12 rules on “How to Raise a Juvenile Delinquent.” Noticeably, the first rule for raising a delinquent is: “Begin with infancy to give the child everything he wants.”

I read Rule One and think of how we have a heavenly Father who loves me too much to give me everything I want. I admit that I sometimes envy those who seemingly breeze through life with good looks, oodles of money, exciting jobs and luxury vacations posted on Facebook. Where is God, I wonder, and why doesn’t God give me what I want?

Today’s scripture speaks to my questions, quoting wisdom from the Old Testament book of Proverbs. It reminds me that the Lord disciplines and chastens those whom He loves. God does this like a father trains his children (Proverbs 3:12). The disciplines of life, of not getting everything I want, are the proof of God’s love and not its contradiction. God purposes to make something of me, something great, and that requires discipline. Just as becoming an accomplished musician, athlete or teacher takes discipline, so becoming what God created me to be will take discipline. It won’t always be easy, but it will be worth it.

Admittedly, I can agree with today’s scripture, “Now, discipline always seems painful rather than pleasant at the time”. Amen to that! Sometimes God’s training hurts or leaves me confused and questioning. But, in time, God’s discipline will “yield the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”

I come back to the bottom line: God loves me too much to give me, His child, everything I want. He loves me too much to give me a life without troubles and disappointment. God wisely knows how to use trials and sorrow in my life, much like He used them for Job, Joseph, Moses, David, and our Lord Jesus. A. W. Tozer observed, “It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until He has hurt him deeply.” (A. W. Tozer, The Root of the Righteous). I know God loves me and is shaping and training me for something great! I rest in this.

PLANT A THOUGHT… Repeat, Tell, Write, Create

A Fellow Traveler,

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