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  • The Adversity of Discipline: The Training that Leads to Holiness

Have you been following the World Cup? It’s hard not to. Even for those of us who aren’t normally soccer fans it’s easy to be interested when the best athletes in the world are competing for the highest prize in their sport. We respect and admire the hard work, training and athleticism that got them to where they are now.


Today I want to talk to you about God’s training regimen for you and where it is leading. Did you know God is training you? As your loving Father He is causing, controlling, orchestrating and allowing events in your life with a specific purpose in mind. The Bible calls this process the discipline of the Lord.

The word discipline generally brings to mind two ideas, punishment and training. God’s discipline includes more than just these two ideas. We find six different elements in the discipline of the Lord in the Bible.

The 6 Elements of God’s Discipline

  1. Training. learning how to be godly Hebrews 12:11
  2. Instruction. learning what God wants us to know Proverbs 5:11-13
  3. Guidance. direction in how to act Proverbs 6:22-24
  4. Reproof. learning what we have done wrong Hebrews 12:5
  5. Correction. learning the right behavior instead of the wrong Proverbs 5:22-23
  6. Punishment. how God gets our attention so we return obedience Hebrews 12:6

The book of Hebrews gives us an interesting perspective on God’s discipline. Hebrews was written to Christians who had experienced significant hardships because of their faith Hebrews 10:32-36. This included personal suffering, trials, struggles with sin, tribulation and persecution. In chapter 12 the author lumps all that hardship and adversity together and calls it God’s discipline. This isn’t the only way, but clearly God trains, teaches, guides, reproves, corrects and punishes us through the hard, painful things we experience in life. God allows and uses the adversity of discipline for 6 reasons.

6 Reasons We Experience God’s Discipline

  1. It proves we’re God’s child. Hebrew 12:5-8
  2. It is for our good. Hebrews 12:10
  3. It results in eternal life Hebrews 12:9
  4. It enables us to share God’s holiness Hebrews 12:10
  5. It produces peacefulness Hebrews 12:11
  6. It produces righteousness Hebrews 12:11

As we have seen in previous posts, some adversity we experience is our fault and some is not. It’s tempting to look at the bad things we experience that aren’t our fault and get discouraged or just plain worn out by them. If that’s where you’re at today here’s a different approach to consider. Look at everything adverse that happens to you as being under the umbrella of God’s love and discipline. God is in complete control so trust Him as a loving Dad. Right now it’s hard, but as you share your pain, concern and burdens with Him, He will see you through it. On the other side of the adversity you will have peace, you will walk in righteousness and be on the path to sharing the holiness of God. That is an amazing prospect to consider!

What have you learned about God’s discipline in your life that could help others? Please leave a comment or question below.

  • This was encouraging. Yes I tend to cringe when I hear discipline– the principals office shame feeling. But this helps me see the Father as He is- a loving dad who is working for my good. Thanks for expanding my view of Gods discipline to include these areas under the umbrella!

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    Ward Cushman

    My journey of faith started when I was nine years old when I realized that Jesus died and rose again to pay for my sins. At the age of thirteen I felt the call of God on my life for ministry.

    I have been fortunate to work in the marketplace for over ten years and in full-time Christian ministry for over thirty years.

    My passion is to teach God's Word in such a way that it is easy to understand and so that God uses it to bring about life change in those who hear it.

    It is my greatest joy to see God work through me to produce fruit for His glory!