“Joyful are those you discipline, Lord, those you teach with your instructions.”
— Psalms 94:12
Solomon relates joy to being disciplined by God. It is joyful to be instructed even if it is painful. We have this image of discipline as punishment for doing wrong. Rather the Lord’s discipline is to help us grow and not grow stagnant in where we are. God has wonderful plans for us that need training and toughening to be able to handle the work God has for us. As it says in 2 Timothy 2:21, “Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.”
I was recently disciplined at work and my response was shock and surprise. I was shocked and surprised that I had made many mistakes in correcting of my students work. I was at first upset because of my pride taking a hit. I was also shocked because I never imagined I would be making such mistakes. It was later to me a wake up call. I needed that discipline because otherwise I would have stayed stagnant, thinking I was doing fine. Hallelujah! But discipline can hurt, but it is a process to help us grow, where punishment is meant to break.
When we are disciplined it is a chance to change. It is God giving us directions to grow to be able to handle the work He has for us. I need to remember that joy is not based on circumstances but where our heart is and our perspective. Through the love God has for us our perspective on discipline will change. We will begin to see it as a chance to grow. Our response is then changed to one of joy instead of fear. I need to really store this gem in my heart. Discipline is joyous if we know it is for our good.
Thank you, Jesus for loving us so much to keep us from being the same and ushering us to grow through discipline. Thank you for taking me out of my stagnant heart to see how you are shaping and guiding me. Thank you so much for your discipline! I love you! In your name, Jesus.