Ep.266: Hebrews 12: Scourging, Training, and Discipline.
Hello, I’m Daniel Westfall on the channel “Pray With Me”.
Hebrews 12 says:
The Lord trains those he loves
and chastens all his children (v. 6).
Our human fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best,
but God trains us for our good,
so that we may share in his holiness.
Training is painful, not pleasant.
But it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace (vv. 10-11).
Therefore strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees.
Make level paths for your feet,
so that what is lame may not be disabled, but healed (v 12).
When I was young and full of fear, I tried my hardest to be a good Christian. My efforts had an unintended result: instead of getting better, I got worse. I discovered that my sin problem ran so deep in mind and body and soul that I could not eradicate it. The harder I tried, the more I failed, and the more discouraged I got.
And then I encountered Hebrews 12 in my King James Bible:
Whom the Lord loves, he chastens,
and scourges every son he receives (v. 6).
Comforting thought, that. God loves me so much he’s getting his whip ready to scourge me? Maybe that would help with the sin problem.
Or maybe not.
Then I found author Martyn Lloyd-Jones. He wrote a chapter on Hebrews 12, giving it the title, “In God’s Gymnasium” (Lloyd-Jones, Martyn. Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure. London: Pickering and Inglis, 1965). His point: God did not want to scourge me, but train me. Perhaps I was right about the depth of my problems. But the solution was not pain and punishment, it was an exercise program. As exercise can strengthen and heal feeble arms and weak knees, so God’s training of my inner life can bring restoration and healing.
Our father, it makes a difference whether we think of you as actively punishing us to correct our sins, or if we see you as our personal trainer in the gym, promoting exercise and a healthy diet.
Forgive us where we have wrongly felt you judge harshly and punish vigorously. Teach us to embrace your training program that will grow our capacity to hear and obey your word, correcting our confused thinking, and helping us run the race you have set before us.
I’m Daniel, on the channel “Pray with Me”.
YouTube channel: Pray with Me – YouTube