The Trials of Discipline
Since difficulties and pain are a universal experience of mankind, we may not recognize when our particular trial is the result of divine discipline. In Job’s day, the common thinking was that all suffering was the result of sin, but today some Christians have swung so far away from this flawed teaching that they fail to consider whether their adversity might be related to waywardness.
When this happens to us, we usually just want to find a way out of the difficulty and move on, but in every painful situation, God is working to purify our life and make us righteous. He knows our weaknesses and sees when we compromise and fall into sin. So as a loving Father, He intervenes to bring us back into obedience and fellowship with Him.
Pain has a way of bringing to light sinful attitudes and practices, of which we were unaware. It drives us to our knees, and as we draw closer to the Lord, we see more of His holiness and recognize the ugliness of our sin.
What we do with this conviction of sin is of utmost importance. If we grumble and groan but refuse to repent and change, then we lengthen the trial, which intensifies the pain and sets us up for further discipline. This is not a sign of God’s disfavor; rather it shows His love for us. He knows a path of sin is unfitting for His children.
Let’s choose the better option of repentance and obedience. When we let our trials train us in holiness, we will reap “the peaceful fruit of righteousness” (Heb. 12:11). And compliance with the will of our heavenly Father brings joy to His heart.