God’s Discipline – Part 3
Scripture Reading: Philippians 2:12-18
Key Verse: Philippians 2:13
…for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.
Is there any way to know if the hardship and trouble we are experiencing is for the purpose of discipline? I believe that we can know based on a couple of principles. First, our key verse tells us that God works in us both to “want” and to “do” His good purposes! The first principle, then, is God can “burn” a thought into our minds convincing us of what He wants us to do or stop doing. When I am going through hard times, I can “listen” during my prayer time for God’s voice to convince me of His workings. I can quiet myself and allow His thoughts to show me an un-Christ like way that needs to be dealt with!
The second principle that we can use to help us discern if our hardships are due to discipline is summarized in the word “specific.” I believe God is always specific in His dealings with us. If it’s discipline, we will soon know exactly what God is nudging us about. If, after prayer and reflection, I get this “vague” feeling that I’m “just not good enough and deserve punishment from God,” this isn’t God speaking! God never uses condemnation on His children (Romans 8:1). God never uses vague terms that leave us wondering in uncertainty about His love and care for us!
Yes, I believe we will know when our hardships, pain and suffering are part of God’s discipline plan for us. Remember there are three other major reasons for these that we will be dealing with later. Today, let’s trust God’s “fatherly” work in us.
Father, the evil one tries to hide your deep love and concern for me. Thank you for treating me as a cherished child raised by a fantastic Father. In Jesus’ Name, amen.