SUSTAINED THROUGH DISCIPLINE

Fear not, O Jacob my servant, declares the Lord, for I am with you...I will discipline you in just measure, and I will by no means leave you unpunished.” Jeremiah 46:28
 
            Sometimes we forget that discipline can be both loving and caring. But when our holiness is at stake, who better to guide us and mold us into greater holiness than the one who defines holiness (1 Pet. 1:15-16)? Jeremiah 46 speaks to the band of Jews that should not have been down in Egypt. They fled the coming armies of the Babylonians, but they should have remained in Judah as God commanded (Jer. 42). When things look scary and uncertain, are you tempted to flee to your own Egypt? Amidst difficult moments, hardships, pain, and uncertainty, temptations will arise, and decisions can happen that are contrary to what God has for us. As a result, sin creeps in and without a doubt, consequences will follow.
            The consequences and discipline of our past sins and faithlessness cannot be just prayed away, but it does not mean that God cannot use us today. We can never outrun or flee from God’s discipline. Perhaps we should focus our prayers as Jeremiah did in chapter 10, “Correct me, O Lord, but in justice; not in your anger, lest you bring me to nothing” (Jer. 10:24). When we repent, we can trust God even with our discipline. Discipline is never an afterthought of God but is more skillful than the best surgical knife that is tailor-made for our good to remove the foolishness that is bound up in us. The Lord’s steady and loving hand is so much better at removing what needs to be extracted from our lives than we are (Prov. 3:7; 19:23; 1 Thess. 5:23-24)!
            As the writer of Hebrews reminds us, “…all disciple seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness” (Heb. 12:11). We can trust the Lord to take something ugly and create something beautiful (Eph. 2:10; 4:22-24). Believers enduring the righteous discipline of the Lord can rest assured that God’s never changing faithfulness to believers extends even in moments of discipline and hardships as He directs, molds and shapes us to be more like Jesus. Accepting the discipline of a loving Father comes with knowing you will always find His grace and the growth it will bring. God is still at work for our holiness and His glory. He is still worthy of our praise and trust even during our moments of His just and loving discipline.

Further Study:
  • Ezekiel 18:21-24
  • 1 Peter 1:6-9
  • 2 Corinthians 1:8-9
  • James 1:2-4

by Eric Adams, Deacon 

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