You Need to have a New Perspective about God’s Discipline

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No one wants to be on the receiving end of God's discipline. But what if there's a wonderful higher purpose in His discipline that demonstrates His love?

What are you praising God for today?

I’m guessing you’re not lifting praise for God’s discipline! Especially if you are the recipient of that discipline.

David began Psalm 30 with praise…

I will exalt you, Lord,
because You have lifted me up
and have not allowed my enemies
to triumph over me.
Lord my God,
I cried to You for help, and You healed me.

Psalm 30:1–2

Sounds good, right? We’d readily thank and praise God for protecting us from our “enemies” and for His healing grace.

But just a few verses later we learn the real reason for David’s gratitude and praise…

When I was secure, I said,
“I will never be shaken.”
Lord, when You showed Your favor,
You made me stand like a strong mountain;
when You hid Your face, I was terrified.

Psalm 30:6–7 (CSB)

David started out as a humble shepherd boy but after some years on the throne enjoying prosperity and power, pride became a problem for him.

Satan rose up against Israel and caused David to take a census of the people of Israel.

1 Chronicles 21:2

The enemy tempted David with pride and David took a bite of the fruit. Taking a census was not a sin on its own but the Life Application Bible Notes add the following:

David fell to satan’s temptation because his faith was in his own strength rather than in God’s.

The prophet Ezra wrote…

God was very displeased with the census, and He punished Israel for it.

And said to David through Gad, “I will give you three choices. Choose one of these punishments, and I will inflict it on you.”

1 Chronicles 21:7, 10

David chose three days of severe plague for Israel and God allowed 70,000 people to die before He said, “Stop! That is enough!”

And when God’s discipline stopped, David wrote a Psalm of praise.

It’s hard to imagine thanking God for His discipline.

Honestly, I can’t remember ever being thankful for discipline. Especially as I was living through it. Most of us don’t have a habit of saying, “Oh yay! I’m being disciplined!”

But discipline is intended to wake us up and turn us around. It’s like getting a shot of antibiotics when we’re sick; it’s painful at the moment but helpful in the long run.

David knew that truth, so before he confessed his problem with pride, he wrote…

Sing to the Lord, all you godly ones!
    Praise His holy name.
For His anger lasts only a moment,
    but His favor lasts a lifetime!
Weeping may last through the night,
    but joy comes with the morning.

Psalm 30:4–5

When you and I are being disciplined for sin, rather than sitting in the corner pouting like a petulant child, we can look to the life of David. He was far from perfect. Scripture tells us about his sins of pride, lust, adultery, and murder.

And yet, God called him, “a man after my own heart.” (Acts 13:22) God’s discipline restored David’s humility and led him to repentance and forgiveness so he could say with confidence “His anger lasts only a moment but His favor lasts a lifetime!”

God wants us to repent and receive His gracious and merciful forgiveness.

Jeremiah wrote…

Though He brings grief, He also shows compassion
    because of the greatness of His unfailing love.

Lamentataions 3:32

When you and I keep our hearts humble and repentant fully relying on Jesus . . . we don’t have to fear God’s discipline. We can be confident that although “weeping may last through the night . . . joy comes in the morning.”

No one wants to be on the receiving end of God's discipline. But what if there's a wonderful higher purpose in His discipline that demonstrates His love?

Let’s pray…

A Prayer of Praise for God’s Discipline

Father God, I don’t like to admit my failures and faults. I want to look around with pride and believe that I’m “doing it right.” But I’m not. Just like a willful child, I often need Your loving discipline to remind me of Your better ways. I’m so sorry for failing to humbly trust and obey You as You want. Please forgive me.

No discipline is pleasant at the moment but I believe You discipline because You want so much more for me than the trappings of this world. You want me to experience freedom in Christ Jesus. You want me to live with peace and joy. You want me to know the love that knows no bounds. You want me to KNOW the TRUTH that lasts forever. You want me to be set apart for Your glory. You want the best for me.

Lord, there is joy in Your presence. (Psalm 16:11) There is peace in Jesus’ victory. (1 Corinthians 15:57) Faith, hope, and love are found in You alone. (1 Corinthians 13:13)

So, with Your Spirit’s help, I will humbly surrender to Your guidance, direction, and even Your discipline. Please help me. And help me remember that every difficult thing that happens in my life is not the result of Your discipline. The consequences of sin are everywhere. Please use every opportunity to use whatever happens around me to draw me closer to You in faith so I can proclaim like David . . . weeping may last through the night but joy comes in the morning.

I love you, Lord. In Jesus’ holy name, I pray. Amen.

No one wants to be on the receiving end of God's discipline. But what if there's a wonderful higher purpose in His discipline that demonstrates His love?

The world wants us to believe that living without God’s truth and discipline is the definition of freedom. But in reality that is bondage to the lies of the enemy.

God’s discipline points us to Jesus, the One who has made true freedom possible.

If the Son sets you free, you are truly free.

John 8:36

Through repentance, faith, and God’s grace and mercy it is possible for us to be forgiven and free and say…

You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing.
    You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy,
that I might sing praises to You and not be silent.
    O Lord my God, I will give You thanks forever!

Psalm 30:11-12

May God bless you and give you joy in the knowledge that through Jesus, you are forgiven and free.

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  1. Sue Jackson says:

    Deb, you are so right about this. Discipline is not very pleasant when one is going through it, but it is so necessary at times in our spiritual growth. I am learning the discipline of patience in waiting on God’s timing. Learning to trust and wait. I give things to God and then try to take them back and handle on my own. Now, I feel like this discipline is helping to bring me closer to Jesus. Waiting and not taking things back is hard, but it is a discipline I need. I appreciate your posts and your kind friendship to all of us who follow you.
    Prayers for you and your family,


    1. Oh, Sue, patience has been a hard lesson for me to learn, too. I’m so thankful that our Lord never gives up on us. He continues to patiently guide and discipline to teach us His better way. What a good good Father! God bless you!

  2. These words rang so true in my heart today, Deb. Too often, we feel that “we have it all together,” forgetting who it is that makes our souls sing. God puts the puzzle of our lives together for His good when we let Him. Blessings!

    1. I love the way you said that, Martha! Thanks for so beautifully adding to our conversation. Blessings, my friend!