They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
One could argue that the most unloving thing a parent could consistently do to their children is not discipline them. All parenting experts agree that children need discipline. Perhaps you’ve experienced the effects of an undisciplined child. Those children become unhappy, angry, and resentful.
Disciplining is not easy, neither for the parent nor the child, but it is loving. With the perspective of time and wisdom, you can look back at the disciplining you received from your parents and be thankful for it. Though it was unpleasant at the time, it showed how much they loved and cared about you.
The people who received the Biblical letter entitled “Hebrews” were going through a terrible time of suffering. One reason the author wrote to them was to encourage them through this time of tribulation.
The author wanted them to know that the suffering they faced was not a punishment from God, who was angry with them; rather, it was loving discipline from a loving Father. This discipline was intended to increase their faith and reliance on God instead of anything else.
When you face difficult times, sometimes they come simply as the result of living in world full of tragedy, evil, diseases, and disasters. Sometimes they may come as a form of God the Father disciplining you in love. But you can be sure that God is not punishing.
God punished someone else for the world’s sin—his own Son, Jesus. That punishment brought peace to all who trust in Jesus as the Savior. That peace means that even though you will face painful experiences, you can be sure that God loves you, and God will not waste the tears that come from that pain. In love, he will use them to produce a harvest of righteousness and peace for you.
Dear Father, help me endure painful moments and to trust that you love me through it all because you sent Jesus for me. Amen.