Today’s Readings: Jeremiah 43; Hebrews 5

Today's thoughts: The Peaceful Fruit of Righteousness

Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. - Hebrews 12:11

We know that the Lord disciplines those He loves but sometimes I wonder why He has to go to such extremes to love me so much? I have told the Lord that it is a good thing He told us that discipline is based on love because, at times, I would misinterpret the pain as something else.

I have noticed that through the process of chastening, I probably will not remember the circumstance that brought the trial, but I will remember the intensity of the pain. When God really gets a hold of me and starts working on changing me, I feel hallow and empty. During those times, I feel like a pumpkin. God cuts around my handle and scrapes me clean of all the seeds and stringy things. But I liked all those seeds, stringy things and even the dingy environment; at first, I grieve over missing the “old me”. But then, He goes a step further and takes the knife of the Word and starts carving at my hardened protected outside. Now my insides become exposed to the outside, and light has the ability to shine through.  So often, I can barely handle such exposure and I feel embarrassment and vulnerability no matter what angle the light hits.  During these times I cry, yell, pray and beg Him to stop, not understanding why I have to go through this painful process. But in His perfect timing, I realize that the peaceful fruit of righteousness has resulted in me. Finally, I pray for His light to be placed deep within me so others can see His good work.

We need the Lord. There should be nothing else we want to do but to love Him with all that we are and to serve Him with all of our lives. As we continue to walk with Him, we better understand that His purpose for us is best for us. We are called to endure these trials of life as we are becoming more like Christ, and being transformed by the work of the Holy Spirit who lives in us. Jesus needs to become our everything. We need to ask Him to help us yield to His will in the discipline process and to resolve ourselves with His timing, being content with His will. Though the process is painful, He knows what is best and we can trust Him to finish the work He started in us.

Are you dealing with something painful today? Maybe you are wondering why God has put you in such a place. Regardless of the reasons for our sufferings, we must remember that He is our answer. Go to Him today and ask for His strength and guidance to lead you through this time. Begin thanking Him for His purposes in the work He is doing in your life. He will never let you down. 

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