Hebrews 12:5-8 (MSG)
My dear child, don’t shrug off God’s discipline but don’t be crushed by it either. It’s the child he loves that he disciplines; the child he embraces, he also corrects. God is educating you; that’s why you must never drop out. He’s treating you as dear children. This trouble you’re in isn’t punishment; it’s training, the normal experience of children.
Every parent can relate to this text because every parent understands the need to bring direction and correction to their children. The author of Hebrews reveals God treats us like children and in the same way a child left to themselves will be spoiled, the absence of spiritual correction will also spoil us.
1. How does the Lord correct?
I remember when I was at school, it was a time where my teachers didn’t hesitate to bring out the “rod of correction” and apply it to the palm of my hand! And Scripture reveals God will not hesitate to bring discipline and correction into your life especially where it is going to help and change you.
Now I’ve heard some people say this correction can come through sickness, disease, lack, poverty, accusation, etc. But these are all things the Lord went to the cross to deliver you from. So God will never bring correction through something Christ has redeemed you from.
Most correction will come through the “rod” of God’s Word, through a message you hear at church or in a connect group.
2. Don’t quit
Our text from Hebrews says “…that’s why you must never quit”. Unwise children want everything now! And if they don’t get it they quit or move onto something else. But the Scriptures wisely tell us not to quit.
The Scriptures are filled with stories about men who did not quit. Abraham. Moses. Joseph. Joshua. Daniel. Job. Peter, Paul, James, and John. If there is one thing we can learn from these men, it’s don’t quit. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13:7 that love bears all things. In other words, develop the ability to put up with some discomfort and inconvenience through different seasons. It will take you a long way in your life.
3. It’s not trying, it’s training
Hebrews says, “this trouble you're in isn’t punishment, it's training”. Jesus’ parable about the Sower, the parable He claimed is the most important of all parables reveals the Christian life is not a one-off thing. It's a process of sowing seed, watering, and harvesting.
- It’s like the athlete who trains over the years to achieve the prize;
- It’s like the musician who practices his art and perfects his skill;
- It’s like compounding interest that multiplies with time;
- It's like the seed becoming the unshakeable oak tree.
Spiritual discipline is not punishment, it’s training – it’s designed to develop you into the disciple that actually produces fruit for the Kingdom of God. Don’t try something for God and then quit when you don’t succeed at first. Remain committed to the process and reward will come.