May 08, 2010

Light at the End of the Tunnel

Hebrews 12:4-11

No discipline seems pleasant … but … it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace …
Hebrews 12:11


It is hard to be disciplined, even when we know we deserve it. Discipline is embarrassing and humiliating. None of us like to admit wrong—even when we know we are.

Discipline is intended to make us better persons. Parents discipline children; employers exert discipline on employees; coaches require discipline to win; and God demands discipline to shape people into his disciples.

Our verse for today says, “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.” It is not fun to be set in the corner, sent to the principal’s office, put in jail, reprimanded by a superior at work, scolded by the coach, or, most of all, chastised by God.

The Bible is right: discipline is painful.

But, thanks be to God, discipline also brings righteousness and peace. It makes us seek the Savior, Jesus.

Then Jesus gives us two gifts for living. The first is righteousness. That means we are right with God. When we are right with God, we can work to get right with others. We need and want right relationships. The second gift from Jesus is peace. Today I pray that you will have “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding” (Philippians 4:7). Enjoy!

Discipline hurts, dear God. Thank you for the righteousness and peace Jesus brings through his death and resurrection to pay for my sins. In his name, Amen.

About the author — Jack Gray

Jack Gray recently retired after forty years as a pastor in the Christian Reformed Church. During that time he served seven churches from coast to coast in the United States. He and his wife, Wanda, have four sons and three grandchildren. They also have ministered to 44 foster children. This month’s devotions are inspired by his reflections on time at this transition in his life.

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