“Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father?” Hebrews 12:7
When going through a hard time, most people do not like to see that as something for their benefit. There never seems to be a good reason for the hardship. Hardship is painful and very difficult, yet is necessary. God uses hardship to discipline His children.
Then comes the next challenge–accepting discipline as a good thing.
In this world, discipline is often looked at as a negative thing. Too often that is true about discipline being a negative thing.
Most parents discipline their children to some degree or more. The problem many parents have is that their discipline is done out of anger and to punish the child.
God does not discipline to punish, but to turn the hearts of His children back to Him. All punishment is being reserved for when Jesus returns. Those who have accepted and followed Jesus will not be punished, since their sins have been removed. Those who have rejected Jesus will be punished since their sins have not been removed.
God allows hardship into the lives of all believers to correct them and bring them closer to Him and make them into the image of Jesus more and more.
In sports, the athlete disciplines himself to be the best he can be. He goes through the hardship and pain of hard practice daily. He pushes himself to do better and better, so that he can be the best.
God is doing that in your life. He is pushing you to be perfect as Jesus is perfect. When you are going through a hard time, turn your eyes on Jesus. Learn His patience and perseverance. Learn to trust God more. Know that God is right there with you.
Do not look at hardship as punishment for past sins or God hating you. God loves you with an undying love and Jesus has forgiven you.
Allow God to use those hardships as training ground to become more like Jesus.
I pray today that God will strengthen you in all hardships; that you will turn your eyes and life towards God during hard times; that you will trust God knows what He is doing and that He is doing the best for you; and that God will make you more like Jesus everyday.