When I had children of my own, I'd like to think that I handled things in a kinder way when it came to discipline. I would ask, "And what lesson have we learned?" Why did I use the word "we"? Like I had a lesson to learn? Surely not! I was the know-it-all parent, saying those words in a condescending, sing-song tone of voice.
Discipline is hard. It's hard to receive it and it's hard to mete it out. It doesn't get any easier as we grow older. It does remain necessary, no matter our age, and it may show up disguised as hardship, trial, or adversity.
"Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children." (Hebrews 12:7)
Did you know that God sees redemptive value in our trials? He accomplishes great spiritual work in our adversity. Just like Christ, on the cross, "who for the joy set before him [he] endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12: 2) For the JOY set before Him. Jesus suffered willingly, endured selflessly, even unto death on a cross, for a redemptive purpose. My redemption. Your redemption.
What looked like a total defeat for the Kingdom of God on that day, a total set-back for the Heavenly team, was a set-up for the salvation of all who would later call on His Name to be saved.
God is so much more concerned about your heart and your eternal destiny, than He is about your circumstance or your comfort. He wants to do a work in you. He wants to do a work in me.
There has to be meaning in our trials and adversities, or it would just be cruelty, meted out by a cruel God, wanting us to suffer for suffering's sake.
"God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it."
(Hebrews 12: 10-11)
Take some time today and ask the Lord, "What changes are You trying to make in me? What lesson do You want me to learn? In what areas of my life will I grow through this trial? "
Then make those changes. Start making the right decisions and the right results will follow. That's the natural order of things. Right decisions produce right results. That's the God-order of things. He wants us to learn our lessons.
I don't know how long our trials will last. It may be until the end of the week, the end of the month, or until the end of time itself, but what I do know, is that they will produce holiness, righteousness, and peace, if you and I allow ourselves to be trained by them.