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Posts Tagged ‘discipline’


(KJV and NKJV Scripture)

– He who heeds the Word wisely shall find good – and whoever trusts in the Lord; happy is he. – Proverbs 16:20

– God may allow His servant to succeed when He has disciplined him to a point where he does not need success to be happy.  The man elated by success but cast down by failure is still a carnal man.  At best his fruit will have a worm in it. – A.W. Tozer

The world will give us 1,000-plus suggestions and solutions throughout our lives on how to become – and stay happy.  Some may seem to “work” for us – for various amounts of time.  A successful and strong marriage – or lots of bucks in our bank account – can deceive us into making that decision we are finally “happy” once and for all.  Until our worst fears are realized one day – when it goes away (Job 3:25).

Until perhaps – a person who swore up and down they would love you forever and never leave – gets up the very next morning and walks away without warning.  Or, maybe a major medical event drains life savings; money you may have set aside to enjoy retirement.  A once happy time has led to hardships, hurt, and heartache, and people start hunting for happiness all over again.  It can all be exhausting. 

This world’s ways to attain and maintain happiness are all quite cosmetic and conditional – contingent upon its motions and our emotions.  Trying to stay happy like this often puts us on a daily roller-coaster ride of highs and lows.  Somewhere on the straight and flat parts when we can breathe, we attempt to figure out if we are truly happy inside our hearts, or if saying such is just hollow words from our lips.

Empty souls lead to envy and covetousness (Titus 3:3, Luke 12:15).  We might see what someone else has in the way of possessions – or look at ways they are living – and it appears to be making them happy – so we try to follow suit.  Without us ever really knowing if they’re masking happiness with fake smiles and feigned words – but who are also still searching for lasting satisfaction inside (Proverbs 27:20).

God – and the ways of His Word to attain happiness are to provide us a continual and steady sense of contentment and happiness.  It’s internal, so this feeling should always stay the same, regardless of any external situation (Philippians 4:11).  All of God’s promises are yeses (2 Corinthians 1:20).  We truly can attain such happiness without it ever wavering; but it has to be achieved His way (Proverbs 1:7).

Happiness starts with heavenly discipline – and He assures all born again Christians (John 3:5) this will happen because of His love.  It will not seem joyous – and we won’t feel happy while it’s happening to us (Hebrews 12:6-11).  However, God’s intent is for us to yield all the peaceable fruits required to be brought forth in keeping with His commandment to repent (Matthew 3:8, Galatians 5:22-23, Acts 17:30).

Therefore, “choosing” or “deciding” to be happy as a Christian is not the way it works – for such will lead to the same spiritual highs and lows this world’s way to happiness creates.  It puts us on a roller coaster ride full of sudden dips and rises in our faith.  Therefore, our road to lasting happiness begins with heavenly discipline – and we’re to be happy when God corrects us.  We’re not to despise His chastening (Job 5:17).

All of this daily discipline is designed to teach the patience God requires of us to endure until the end – and made partakers of Jesus Christ (James 5:11, Hebrews 3:14, Hebrews 10:36).  This means our salvation.  We may have to endure many temptations and trials, depending on how much of our old worldly man God has to correct (2 Corinthians 5:17).  We are to count it all joy; regardless (James 1:2-4).

So, when we suffer for righteousness’ sake, we will be happy (1 Peter 3:14).  So, when we are reproached for the name of Christ, we’ll be happy (1 Peter 4:14). So, we learn to be happy having faith to ourselves (Romans 14:22).  So we do not turn Christianity into a competition – and a battle for happiness between believers – for such leads to every evil work before God (2 Corinthians 10:12, James 3:14-16).

If we are not continually happy as Christians, we have nowhere near the trust in God we may claim – nor are we really following in Christ’s steps (lead verse, Luke 6:46, 1 Peter 2:21).  Our happiness is still contingent on a constantly changing world.  It all usually hinges on whether life is basically going the way we want it to – or not at any given time – not upon a God who never changes (Malachi 3:6).

A.W Tozer, who wrote the lead quote above, once said that if we want to be happy as Christians, we have to be made holy from above – for this is God’s desire for us the second He draws us to the Cross (John 6:44, 1 Peter 1:16).  From this point on, we should be simply seeking to know – and to do His will each day (Romans 12:2, Ephesians 5:17) – and leaving it to Jesus the matter of how happy we are.

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(Scripture from the KJV and NKJV)

– I listened and heard, but they spake not aright; no man repented of his wickedness, saying “What have I done?”  Every one turned to his course, as a horse rushes into the battle, – Jeremiah 8:6

– The more you defend a lie … the angrier you become. – Mitch Albom

Over the recent holidays, I watched one of those crime shows on TV with my parents.  This particular program had the usual suspects – five people with potential motives for two related murders.  Among them was a mother whose son had been previously killed by one of the later victims.  When she was brought in for questioning by the police, her demeanor was calm and innocent – at first.

The woman became increasingly louder and defensive as detectives started putting holes in her alibi.  Protests such as “I haven’t done anything!” started pouring forth from her mouth.  My dad pegged her as the killer half-way through the episode.  I asked him later how he was so sure.  He said, “It’s the people who holler and protest the most you have to watch.  They’re the ones usually lying.”

Kids can often get like this when they know they are guilty of doing something they’ve been told not by their parents.  Professing their innocence with loud protests such as “What have I done!?”  The parent will then counter with calm, firm words like, “You know exactly what you did wrong.”  In situations like this, loudness is a good indicator of lying – calmness is a good indicator correction is coming.

The child then stomps angrily down the hall, or up the stairs to their bedroom.  However, don’t they often stop after opening the door, and make sure everyone in the whole house hears their cries of  “This is so unfair!”?  This is frequently followed by a door slam – with an equally far-reaching noise. Christians who do not understand the purpose of God’s correction – may do similar things.

Protests of “What have I done?” are unwise when God corrects us as Christians.  As a sign of His great love – we will all undergo things like chastening (Hebrews 12:6-7 ).  It won’t seem joyous during it – but all discipline in life can hurt at times (Hebrews 12:11).  Try to remember, His commandments are not grievous (1 John 5:3).  God never afflicts or grieves us willingly (Lamentations 3:33).

The Lord takes no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies (Ezekiel 18:32).  God is long-suffering with all of us – not wanting anyone to perish into the pit – but to come unto repentance (2 Peter 3:9).  This is a commandment for Christians (Acts 17:30).  We can no longer be ignorant about sin’s eternal wages (Romans 6:23).  It means we obey God unto death, just like Jesus did (Philippians 2:8)

Any claims we have of being faithful Christians means we are obedient to our faith.  Why?  Jesus – our only power to obey God – dwells in us by faith through the power of the Spirit (Romans 16:26, Ephesians 3:16-17).  We can’t claim innocence about sin anymore when corrected by God (Jeremiah 2:35). Obedience requires such.  Jesus is the author of salvation to all who obey God (Hebrews 5:8-9).

Christ shed precious blood for us at Calvary.  It is the very same blood sprinkled on our hearts daily as a salve for our sins (Hebrews 10:22, 1 Peter 1:2).  We have to learn not to offend Him anymore with them (Job 34:31).  If we are still walking around raising our voices at God, saying things like “What have I done!?” every time He corrects us; we don’t have the faith we may be loudly proclaiming.

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(KJV and NKJV Scripture)

– But though He causes grief – yet He will show compassion according to the multitude of His mercies.  For He does not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men. – Lamentations 3:32-33

If you have been a parent at any time in the past, did you ever have to discipline your children for disobeying you?  If you did, didn’t it pain and grieve you to punish a son or daughter when a certain situation required it?  You didn’t do it willingly – but you knew something had to be done to teach your child right from wrong.

Of course – if you were a child on the other side of the coin, how often did you hear Dad or Mom say something like “This is going to hurt me more than it’s going to hurt you?”  And, you could not possibly see any sense to a statement like that.  You were the one receiving punishment.  How could a parent be pained by that?

Perhaps it was looking back on such times years later – when you finally understood your parents were really trying to help you through discipline when you were younger.  To keep you from trouble then, and still getting hurt by it today.  Something had to be done when they saw you heading down any potentially dangerous or deceitful path in life.

Hopefully, you finally realized any grief your parents caused you as a kid, was meant for your own good now.  Why would our loving Father in heaven be any different?  Who would want a God to go around arbitrarily afflicting and grieving people with punishment – without purpose – to determine eternal destinies (lead passage, Romans 3:5-6)?

Two of Charlie Brown’s most popular phrases were “Good grief!”, and “I can’t stand it!”  God cannot stand sin – the sin Scripture has concluded we’re all under (Galatians 3:22).  If we are Christians – we all know better now about the eternal wages of it (Romans 6:23).  Repenting from sin is not an option – but a commandment (Acts 17:30).

Meaning God is going to grieve us at various times – but never willingly (lead passage); so we learn Jesus Christ (Ephesians 4:20-32).  According to His way – not ours.  But – we can’t learn Jesus the way God desires – unless Jesus dwells in us by faith through the power of the Holy Ghost (Ephesians 3:16-17). This is the only power we have to repent.

Old things have to pass away, so we can become new creatures in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).  We are no longer just God’s creation as Christians – but His children again.  Our loving Father in heaven is now teaching us His way.  Not the way we may desire much of the time; but the way He’s designed it to be – by correcting and chastising us.

Happy is the man whom God corrects.  We are not to despise it when it happens (Job 5:17).  We are not to grow weary while we’re enduring His chastening (Proverbs 3:11).  It’s going to hurt God more than it hurts us.  We probably won’t see it that way as His children at first.  It won’t seem joyous – what punishment ever does (Hebrews 12:11)?

God’s commandments are not meant to be grievous (1 John 5:3) – but designed for our own good.  Our Father assures us we will be chastened as Christians (Hebrews 12:6).  It may often seem very grievous. However, it’s a sign of His love.  We have to learn not to offend God (Job 34:31).  Therefore, we are to be zealous about repenting (Revelation 3:19).

So He can continually guide us away from the troubles and sins of this world – and towards the sincerity and truth of His Word.  To keep us from getting hurt over and over by our old sins and their sorrows.  So we are not punished eternally by sin’s motions and wages (Romans 6:23, Romans 7:5, 2 Corinthians 7:10, Luke 13:27-28).

Even if we think we are suffering wrongfully at the hands of others – we are to endure their grief.  This is thank-worthy with God – if our conscience is towards Him.  Even if we do well, and suffer grief for it – and we take it patiently – this is acceptable with God (1 Peter 2:19-20).  Remember, Jesus was fully acquainted with all we may face (Isaiah 53:3-10).

If we are Christians – and we do not fully understand this – guess what’s probably going to happen often? We’ll see God as creating grief – without having any cause to do so.  However, we cause our own grief when we walk around with any innocent  “What have I done?” mindset regarding sin (Jeremiah 8:6); or still proclaim our goodness (Proverbs 20:6).

If we are like this, we’re probably going to grumble a lot, about how could a loving God be causing us grief. This can go a long way towards grieving the Holy Spirit within us.  We’re warned not to do that (Ephesians 4:30).  Doing so can be the catalyst for blasphemy against the Holy Ghost – putting us in danger of eternal damnation (Mark 3:29).

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