God's Tough Love
Overview of Hebrews 12:3-11
Often times when we think of discipline we think punishment, even as seasoned Christians we can keep a childish view of what it means to be disciplined. We will we try to avoid it at all costs and more often than not respond in anger rather than humility. We see in this chapter of Hebrews a sobering realistic view of Christian life. Just as today, there was strong opposition to the gospel in this society and the faithful were becoming faint hearted and were ready to give up. The writer of Hebrews exhorts us not to become weary. As Christians we are going to experience, stress, pain, suffering and the same exact things that the world deals with. Hebrews 12:1-2 likens our walk to a race, and in our walk sometimes we will experience agony. Jesus himself went through all these things and worse. So when we suffer we need to think about Jesus. God allows these things to happen, but does this out of His great love for us. When we think about the word discipline we need to think about it more like training than punishment. God uses these things to grow us and mature us in the faith. He is ultimately the one in control of our lives. This can seem to contradict the idea of a loving God, but if he is not active in our suffering he is passive and that would be even more disturbing. God does not and will not sin against us. Everything in our life God plans for and works out for our good and His Glory.
1. How would you define discipline?
- Is this how the bible defines discipline?
2. How have you become weary in your walk?
3. How have you experienced Gods discipline in your life?
- What has God allowed in your life specifically?
- How have you tried to avoid discipline?
God trains us though the sins and hostility of others, but when we sin ourselves, God also disciplines. One of His most significant roles is that of a father. If we do not experience His discipline we are not truly His sons and daughters. Gods will judge the earth and sometimes will abandon the lost to their sin; this is Gods passive wrath, or wrath of abandonment Romans 1:28-29. Sin is a wide open gate, and only through God’s grace Jesus steps in. 1 Thessalonians 5:9 Being covered by the blood of Jesus, we are not meant to experience God’s wrath. Jesus has taken all of our punishment on the cross. Hardships in the Christian life are Gods way of sanctifying and making us more like Jesus. He will never abandon us to our sin. Some of us may have had a wonderful father and some may not, but none of us has had a perfect father and so we cannot judge our Heavenly Father through the faults of our earthly fathers. God loves us in a way we cannot understand, He is perfect and good. He has adopted us and will never abandon us. 1 Peter 1 6-9 Trials are not only for our good but so we can share in his holiness, peace, and righteousness Romans 5:3-5. We cannot take discipline lightly, become weary or let circumstances overshadow what God is doing in our lives. Nothing in this life happens by chance, bad luck, fate or karma. God is actively in control of it all and he will use it to shape us into the image of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
1. Where do you find your hope?
- How do you respond when life gets hard?
2. Have you ever felt abandoned by God or that He does not love you? How? Why?
3. How have you taken lightly the discipline of The Lord?
- How do you need to repent?
4. What are the fruits of Gods discipline in your life?