Get to Know the Coach

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When we get to know our heavenly Father, we discover that he never—never— disciplines us except for our good.

Hebrews 12:5-11

The legendary coach of football’s Green Bay Packers, Vince Lombardi, once said, “I've never known a man worth his salt who in the long run, deep down in his heart, didn't appreciate the grind, the discipline . . . .” But that was because of the rewards, not the discipline. When Lombardi’s bulldog voice boomed across the practice field during two-a-day spring practices—“Run it again! We’re going to do it until you get it right!”—the players resented his demanding ways. But what they resented during practice, they respected in post-season. Why? Because there were few years during the Lombardi era when the players didn't take home a championship of some sort—conference, division, or league.

At least those professional football players knew the end was in sight. The end of the drill was just moments away; the end of the practice was just minutes away; and the end of the season was just weeks away. Not so with life. It doesn't end, after a nine-month stretch, with three months to catch your breath. Nor is it over at the end of the day when you can get away from the coach for a few hours. For the Christian, God is always there, the practice-sessions last a lifetime, and the rewards are to be taken by faith, not by sight. It’s no wonder that many Christians, probably like some of Lombardi’s players, get tired of the discipline God imposes on his “team.” But there’s a simple reason why: They haven’t taken time to get to know the Coach.

The writer to the Hebrews, quoting the wisest king who ever lived, says that no child thinks his father’s discipline is deserved or necessary. After all, who likes pain? And yet, when we get to know our heavenly Father, we discover that he never—never— disciplines us except for our good. He never trains us to learn anything that we don’t really need to know. The next time it feels like you’re in one of God’s two-a-days, just remember: The righteousness and peace you’ll experience later will make a Super Bowl trophy look like a cereal box toy by comparison.

God’s Promise to You: “My discipline of you is proof of my love for you.”

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