A Clay Jar

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Treat Hardship as Discipline

Hebrews 12:7

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Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father?

Hebrews 12:7 NIV

Discipline! When we think of discipline, we often equate it with punishment. But they are not the same thing. When we are punished, we are facing the unpleasant consequences of doing something wrong. Discipline, on the other hand, has to do with training. Punishment may include an element of discipline. But discipline need not involve punishment.

When I was a child, my parents disciplined me, teaching me what was right and wrong. When I learned the lessons they gave me, there was a reward. But when I failed to learn them, my parents sometimes reinforced those lessons with punishment. I have received discipline from many others, including teachers and employers. Each was training me somehow, helping me grow in specific areas. And sometimes, the discipline has been internal. When I was preparing for a marathon, I had to discipline my body for months to enable it to run 26.2 miles.

The author of Hebrews tells us here to endure hardship as discipline. That God is treating us as his children. If we pulled this verse out of the greater context, it would be easy to assume that it referred to punishment for my sin. But that is not at all what it is saying.

An Encouragement

This passage is an encouragement to us in our struggle as believers in a world of sin (Heb. 12:4). An encouragement, not just to remain faithful, but to understand that God is using the hardship we go through as people and as believers to train us. Sometimes, how he uses my hardship to teach me is obvious. More often, I do not understand what value it could have in my life. But I am encouraged to trust that God knows what he is doing and is working for my good (Heb. 12:10). And to endure whatever hardship comes my way, remaining faithful to the one who has called me.

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. – Hebrews 12:11 NIV

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Ed Jarrett

Just an old clay jar that God continues to see fit to use in his kingdom's work. I am retired, married with 2 children, and 4 grandchildren. I have followed Jesus for many years. And I love to share what He has given me from His word.

A Note to Readers

The views expressed here are solely mine and do not necessarily reflect those of any other person, group, or organization. While I believe they reflect the teachings of the Bible, I am a fallible human and subject to misunderstanding. Please feel free to leave any comments or questions about this post in the comments section below. I am always interested in your feedback.

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