“Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons”
Discipleship is developed through a process of God-directed discipline. It is designed by the Holy Spirit to move us from a self-centered focus on life to seeing and dealing with life from His God-centered focus.
It is imperative that we must realize that God’s discipline is going to bring us to a point of distress. Our world is rocked, turned upside down, and nothing is working as it is supposed to. We keep telling God what needs to happen when, where, how, etc., because He is seemingly not doing what needs to be done to fix this. So apparently it is up to us. We cannot get God to panic along with us. The reason for this stress and anxiety could be the result of 1) wrong choices on our part, 2) wrong things done to us by someone else for which we are suffering (which is always hard to deal with), or 3) just life not working out the way we thought it would or should. But no matter the reason we are stressed and angry and see no way around our pain.
It is essential at this time to stop and realize that God will allow our distress to move us to desperation. Brokenness that draws us into the presence of God will not come until we have come to the end of ourselves. Whether we like it or not, suffering is an unavoidable part of life that the Spirit will work through to mold me into the image of Christ. It is not that He is making it happen. The fact is that because we live in a fallen world, suffering is going to happen no matter how well we have controlled our lives to avoid it.
Suffering can lead to brokenness, but they not same thing. We will look at brokenness more tomorrow. For today, please understand that suffering that does not yield to God’s direction usually drives our desperation to diversions that become strongholds through which the enemy of our souls entraps us. These diversions are then protected by our defensiveness whenever we feel that they are being attacked because we find it hard to admit to ourselves that the diversions we thought would free us are in reality enslaving us.
Read Hebrews 12:1-11. Have you been responding to God’s discipline?