DISCIPLINE

DISCIPLINE
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f you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?
Hebrews 12:7

If you have walked with the Lord for any amount of time, very likely you have endured discipline at the hands of the Lord by now. The discipline of the Lord is never pleasant in the moment, but those who endure it patiently will bear righteous fruit afterwards. Just as it takes time and patience while a tree begins to blossom, forms fruit, then ripens it, so we must bear patiently through trial and suffering if we hope to bear ripened fruit worthy of righteousness. The Lord chastens (disciplines) those He calls son and daughter, much like an earthly father disciplines his children for their growth and benefit. The book of Lamentations outlines three ways we should patiently endure suffering placed upon us by the Lord:

Let him sit alone and keep silent, because God has laid it on him; (3:28).

Let him put his mouth in the dust—there may yet be hope (3:29).

Let him give his cheek to the one who strikes him, and be full of reproach (3:30).

When the Lord’s discipline is upon you, sit alone and keep silent. Remember that it is the Lord who has laid it upon you, that He is right and just in all that He does. To sit alone does not mean to isolate, but rather to examine your heart and your ways without complaining to others. Put your mouth in the dust, which means to lie prostrate before the Lord of Lords in reverent silence and humility, for who are we to complain or speak out against the Lord’s discipline? Give your cheek to the one who strikes you, do so in humility. Often the Lord will work through leaders and authorities to bring adversity upon us, to discipline, humble, and test us. Judgment begins with the church, will you suffer for righteousness sake?

For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?
1 Peter 4:17

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