In English, discipline is understood as the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior.
The Greek word From Vines Expository Dictionary discipline as paideuo (παιδεύω, 3811) primarily denotes “to train children,” suggesting the broad idea of education (pais, “a child
), Acts 7:22; 22:3; see also Titus 2:12, “instructing” (rv), here of a training gracious and firm; grace, which brings salvation, employs means to give us full possession of it, hence, “to chastise,” this being part of the training, whether (a) by correcting with words, reproving, and admonishing....
Thus Hebrews 12 goes on to say our heavenly Father does it for our good.
Romans 8 reminds us that for those who love the Lord, all things work together for our good and the Spirit helps us in our weaknesses, grace abounding,
It is for discipline we must endure circumstances. We wait upon the Lord to show us the way of escape because we are able to bear up under whatever we face by His grace and faithfulness. For when we are weak, then He is strong. ‘His grace is sufficient’ is a life’s lesson we learn through our endurance.
We all usually start our lessons well, in a place of trusting God to work, but seem to cave in when the race turns into a long haul; when endurance itself becomes the test.
All testing reveals the heart of man. The dross comes to the surface and needs to be removed in order for a vessel to be fitted for the masters use. Yet, I think, we all resist- and many times- resent the process, but James tells us that patience must have it’s perfect work for us to be complete and lacking nothing. It is for discipline that we must endure.
If discipline is about training, and endurance is about discipline, then the question must be asked ~ what am I learning while I endure? In every circumstance we must learn and relearn that we are not our own saviour. We cannot be our own God. Our hope and trust must remain firmly fixed in Him and this can all be judged by our expression of praise and thanksgiving....count it all joy.
If we consider Job, like James 5:11 instructs us to do, we see that Job learned a few things through the troubles he faced. In lack, in sickness, in family, in friends, Job suffered and had no understanding of why this was happening or why God was not seemingly intervening on his behalf. Aren’t these the very questions we ask today through the long haul?
Aren’t we often all like Job? Frustrated with the waiting, wondering why God isn’t working and why something is taking so long? God’s response is still the same to all and I’m thankful Job was recorded for every one to have the ability to be instructed.
Job 38 begins with God asking “ Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorant words. Gird up your loins for I have some questions for you and you must answer them.” This question reminds me of 1 Peter 5:5 where it says God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. The word resist there means that God arrays himself in military like fashion and stands against the proud. Gird up your loins, would say to me, God is withstanding Job. How do you contend with the almighty and win?
Beginning with chapter 40 He asks again, Do you still want to argue with the Almighty? You are God’s critic, but do you have the answers. Job, is beginning to see the reality of his words and answers, I am nothing, how could I ever find the answers? I will cover my mouth with my hand. I have said too much already. I have nothing more to say.” God, continues, “Gird up your loins because I have some questions for you and you must answer them.”
Finally in chapter 42 we see Job’s revelation and reply to the Lord.
“I know that you can do anything and no one can stop you. I was talking about things I knew nothing about, things too wonderful for me. I take back everything I said and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance.”
James reminds us that a double minded man is unstable in all his ways, let not that man think he will receive anything of the Lord. Do we lack wisdom? We are instructed to ask the Lord, not question His purposes or works.
If we “learn” to stay vitally united to him, there is the joy and peace that comes because we trust Him. We believe He is working and know He will show the way through andthe end of the matter is as Job found and James 5:11 tells us, the Lord is full of compassion and mercy.
We must find ourselves willingly submitted to the Father of Spirits to live. Even in our lack of understanding, our questions should never be about His righteousness, justice, faithfulness or love for our hope must be kept in Him.
It is for discipline we must endure.
There is something to learn.