When suffering strikes we have a choice ― to give in to the suffering or to endure. To suffer seems unfair and unjust. But it can have purpose. In some cases, the suffering is there because God is trying to change our perspective and increase our trust in Him.
Discipline is a hard concept for an adult to comprehend. Children are supposed to be disciplined and the adults are to be the ones to do the disciplining. God doesn’t see it that way because He sees all of the redeemed as His children, no matter their age. If we weren’t His children, He wouldn’t bother to discipline us.
We are prone to walk down a wrong path, whether it is in ignorance, self-deception, or due to the influence of others. There are times we may walk down the wrong path on purpose. Yet in every instance, God wants to protect and teach us through the discipline of endurance.
Peter’s denial of Christ, while he waited outside as Jesus was interrogated, is an excellent example of this (Matthew 26:34-35,69-75). For Peter, in the moment of being questioned, the choice was an obvious one ─ survive and deny. Once that rooster crowed though, Peter knew he had taken a path that God would never want him to take again. The time between the rooster crow and the breakfast on the beach when Jesus reinstates him to be a leader for the faithful was a time of reflection and maturity for Peter (John 21).
Discipline is hard to receive, especially when we believe we are in the right. Take a step back from your circumstances and listen for the “crow of the rooster.” When we come to terms with our broken humanity, we become stronger as children of God.
Lord, help me get past myself so I may understand your ways. I don’t want to sulk in the corner and justify my actions. I want to learn, and I want to grow. Love and teach me as my rightful father today and for the rest of my life. Amen.
Go Deeper ― Think of the reasons your parents disciplined you. Did it have an impact on you? How did it change your way of thinking? Then ask yourself if God’s discipline is always fair, on time, and just.