“Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father?” Hebrews 12:7
Everyone goes through times of hardship. During those times the most common question asked is “why?”. Whenever someone is going through a hard time, other people will try to explain it away, giving all types of reasons. The author here explains it very simply: discipline is because God loves you and is treating you like His child.
The challenge here is the understanding of discipline. Most parents will discipline their children for doing something wrong. The focus is more on punishment for doing wrong, then on correction to do right. Long before an act is thought of to be done wrong there should be training in how to do the right thing. This is where discipline comes in. A runner disciplines himself to practice daily and to work at running better and faster. If he does not do this, he will not succeed in running and winning. In this same way a person must be dedicated to living the Christian life God has called him to live. He must work at it daily to be successful.
During the time of training it does not always feel good or fun. It will be hard work. It takes a sharp focus and dedication. God is training you to be the best you can be in Jesus. He wants you to be just like Jesus. Jesus lived His life for God and for all people, not for Himself. God uses hardships to keep your focus on Him at all times. Hardships will cause you to lean on God and trust in Him and in Him alone. The world will let you down, God will not.
Today, or the next time you are going through a hardship, remember that God is using that hardship in your life to mold you into His image. God is not trying to beat you down, unless you are refusing to listen. When going through a hardship ask God what you need to learn and how you need to change. Ask God how you can bring Him glory through the situation. Do not grumble and complain about it. Remember God is in complete control of everything and knows your situation. He is using that hardship to make you a better you.
I pray that today God will help you to see all hardships through His eyes; that God will give you the strength to accept all hardship as from Him; that God will help you to grow more like Jesus everyday; and that God will reveal to you the blessings that will come on the other side of every hardship.