Blog Banners.001I would remember growing up that my mom would often say, “I am disciplining you because I love you.”

As a child, I would be confused.
“But mom, if you loved me, shouldn’t you give me everything I want? Why are you preventing me from getting the things I like which will add to my happiness?” This was how I would respond.

When I became a parent, I slowly started to understand what she meant.
But when I read certain verses from Hebrews, it made even more sense.

Reading through the book of Hebrews will give us a perspective.

You might ask, “How can hardship be an indicator of God’s love?”
“If God loves me, shouldn’t He always rescue me from tough times?”

An Act of Love

“For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” (Hebrews 12:6)

As a father, God disciplines us to prevent us from hurting ourselves.
There is a way that seems right to a man but the end thereof is destruction.
If it seems that what you want you haven’t been getting, maybe there’s a greater reason.  Though you may not see it at the moment, trust that He has something bigger in store.

Treatment As Children

“Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children.” (Hebrews 12:7)

There are times that hardship is discipline. When those moments come, remember that God is treating you as His son or daughter. He doesn’t only knows what’s best, He desires what’s best for you.

Painful But Productive

“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.” (Hebrews 12:11)

Discipline is never pleasant. I have yet to see a child request discipline from his parents. Our sinful nature has the propensity to push the boundaries and when caught, we are more sorry because of the consequences we receive rather than genuinely being repentant.

Discipline may not be pleasant. But in the end, we are harvesting righteousness and peace as we are being trained… even through the discipline process.

But remember this, “He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6)
Because of this truth, we can be rest assured that He is at work though we may not see it at the moment.

Adversity is defined as a state, condition, or instance of serious or continued difficulty.

People respond to adversity in many ways – from apathy to panic and everything in between.

According to Paul the apostle, one of the goals of adversity is so that it can push us to rely on God.

Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. (2 Corinthians 1:9)

This is what John Piper said…

Adversity by its very nature is the removal of things on which our comfort and hope have rested and so it will either result in anger toward God or greater reliance on Him alone for our peace.

And his purpose for us in adversity is not that we get angry or discouraged, but that our hope shift off earthly things onto God.

God’s main purpose in all adversity is to make us stop trusting in ourselves or any man.

20121111-231939.jpg

It’s tough when you go through pain.

We all wish we don’t have to go through them. However, God allows them for some reason.

Listen to what Jerry Bridges have to say…

God never allows pain without a purpose in the lives of His children. He never allows Satan, nor circumstances, nor any ill-intending person to afflict us unless He uses that affliction for our good. God never wastes pain. He always causes it to work together for our ultimate good, the good of conforming us more to the likeness of His Son (see Romans 8:28-29).

(An excerpt from Transforming Grace)

Does time really heal all wounds?

I spoke to a young guy today and we talked about what he’s been going through lately.

No matter how we try to commiserate with another person, it still is difficult to fully understand what they’re going through because of context, background, past experiences and current circumstance.

The pat answer to a person hurting is this very statement: “Time heals all wounds.”

Does it really?

Two quick thoughts about this…

1. DECISION.

Forgiveness is a decision more than a feeling.  This is where the principle of “motion-emotion” gets into play. I know people who have never been able to forgive for decades because they just simply haven’t felt like forgiving the person who offended them.  For some, the person has been in the grave for years and yet forgiveness has yet to be released.

I realize that people will say, “You’ll never understand until what he did happens to you.”

Granted.

However, you still have to face the fact that everytime you hear his/her name, or see him/her in the mall, your day is ruined.

Deciding is never easy but it is well worth the effort.

I know. I’ve done it a few times. Email me and I can write you back and tell you the stories of times when I’ve had to decide to forgive.

Bitterness kills.

It’s like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies.

Decide to let go of the hurt, the pain and the offense.

2. JESUS.

Letting go of the hurt, the pride and the offense is a supernatural work.

Forgiving is letting the person off the hook and resolve to not bring it up again.

Now, THAT is not easy.

That is why I said “Jesus.” He is the One who can give grace to forgive.

Only when we realize how much we have been forgiven is the time when we can choose to let go and forgive others.

That is the GOSPEL – understanding the magnitude of my debt and the greatness of His provision.

He loved me inspite of me.  He chose to die for me despite my actions toward Him.

Because of that, since I have freely received, I am able to freely give.

Will time heal all wounds?

It will help but it is when we decide and let Jesus cover our situation with His grace can we truly, truly experience freedom through forgiveness.

We had our Ryan checked by a doctor yesterday. Intermittently, he has been having severe pain. He’s still under observation period to see what’s the problem. Hopefully it’s not appendicitis but really just hyperacidity or even hyperactivity (because he really is super active… just can’t sit still :)).

Pain has a way of alerting us to something we need to address – a problem, an issue, an obstacle.

Ryan took antacid. We’re not sure if that’s the solution yet but at least we are aware of the problem.

For many of us, we want pain to go away… or better yet, to never experience any at all.

But God designed pain for a few reasons…

  • To tell us something is wrong.  When there’s pain, we then make the necessary adjustments to address the situation.
  • To teach us a lesson. Touching a hot stove once will teach us not to do it again. Pain does have a way to show us which ones to avoid.
  • To remind us that we need God’s grace… everyday!

C.S. Lewis once said, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

Psalm 30:5 says, “…Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.”

What a comfort! What a relief!

Pain is inevitable but misery is optional. Which is why we need to plug into the real source of joy – Jesus.

His joy… our strength.