Day 15

Give Thanks for God’s Discipline

from the Give Thanks reading plan


Psalm 94:12-15, Psalm 119:62, Proverbs 4:1-9, Ezekiel 33:7-15, Luke 17:3-4

BY Guest Writer

Scripture Reading: Psalm 94:12-15, Psalm 119:62, Proverbs 4:1-9, Ezekiel 33:7-15, Luke 17:3-4 

For the past five or six months, I’ve struggled with an insomnia of sorts. If I take a sleeping aid, I fall asleep quickly—but then wake in the middle of the night, wide-eyed and alert. If I don’t take a sleeping aid, I lay in bed for hours with my mind racing. I should put a little notebook at my bedside where I can jot down all the brilliant ideas I’ve had as my husband and pup snore softly in the darkness of our room. I would probably be more productive in the morning, armed with a list of midnight solutions.

Along with those sleepless moments of clarity, though, there have been painful realizations about my character and personality—things I’m less likely to want to collect in a bedside notebook. Areas of my heart where fear, guilt, or shame arise. Places I’d rather the Lord not see or address in my thought-patterns or ruminations. I feel my frailty in those night-time hours, far more than I feel them the following morning.

David, too, knew the vulnerability of the night and of God’s discipline to him in it.

“I rise at midnight to thank you
for your righteous judgments.”
– Psalm 119:62

In sleeplessness, David—the one after own God’s heart, whom God relentlessly pursued for His purposes—thanked God for His righteous judgments. He thanked God for keeping His promise to deal with sin, to not overlook it. The fact that God disciplined David for his sin and it kept David awake at night, shows God to be attentive to sin and to His children who wrestle with it.

Jesus Christ has taken our punishment in full, the recompense for our sin. But the pressing discipline of God, shaping and forming us more in His likeness, is the promise of the Father to all His children (Hebrews 12:6). In Psalm 94, David speaks again of the Lord’s discipline, describing it as a “relief from troubled times” because “the administration of [His] justice will again be righteous, and all the upight in heart will follow it” (vv.13.15). And so by pressing in to God’s discipline, instead of away from it, we will gain His wisdom and understanding—“a garland of favor” on our heads, a “crown of beauty” (Proverbs 4:1–7).

I don’t know when those moments of restlessness and conviction happen for you, when you see the discipline of God as both painful and good, difficult and righteous. Maybe it’s when you’re up late into the dark morning hours. Or perhaps when you are confronted with a difficult situation or person. Or maybe it happens when you’re simply bored or sad, withdrawing just enough to finally be still and listen.

I can choose to be thankful for God’s attentiveness as He reveals my heart to me, or I can continue to run from His discipline. But I want be like David, instead—intentional with my waking moments and grateful to God that He never sleeps or slumbers through my life (Psalm 121:4). He is always with with me, ready to awaken me to His righteous judgments, which are always for my good and His glory.

SRT-GiveThanks-Instagram-Day15

Lore Ferguson Wilbert is a writer, thinker, and learner. She blogs at Sayable, and tweets and instagrams at @lorewilbert. She has a husband named Nate, a puppy named Harper Nelle, and too many books to read in one lifetime.

Post Comments (55)

55 thoughts on "Give Thanks for God’s Discipline"

  1. Sharon Ide says:

    Praise God for giving us His righteous commandments and revealing to us our need for discipline and correction.

  2. Angela Greenwood says:

    This was a good message for me to read this morning. I don’t like being wrong, or discipline. I run from it. But last night I couldn’t go to sleep and this morning’s devotional helped me to see an area where I need to repent and change. Isn’t God just amazing?

  3. Autumn Norris says:

    ❤️

  4. Shelby says:

    I read this today with past conviction. The timeline of my life hasn’t always been discipleship-worthy. I grew up longing to be loved by my parents through physical/emotional abuse. I was holding onto my Bible for hope while feeling like a mistake-to-life growing up. This lead me down a vicious path as I could not understand that God wanted to love me for me. Premarital sex, 2 abortions as I reasoned with myself of not being married and this was not the way (my boyfriend I was with held a butcher knife to my throat and that was the deciding factor that I could not bring anything into this world with this man in my life). That was 5 years ago, it still keeps me up at night. I’ve been married to a wonderful man of 3 years who accepts my beaten, bruised, bloody, shameful past with open arms; yet I still don’t. I know I sinned, still I feel as I have to pay for it. I punish myself which in turn punishes my husband because I don’t feel worthy of having children because of what I have done. I know God forgives me of my sins.

    I’ve been told many things to cope; “I believe God puts us through tests to see if we will do what needs to be done to be stronger and you survived,” “God’s will was fulfilled because this happened, sometimes it may not be what we thought it would be…” ETC.

    I have repented. I know God views all sin on the same level. But I’m still questioning..

    1. Jenn says:

      Oh Shelby, I too have had two abortions in my past. One stemmed from getting drunk and passing out and being taken advantage of. I did not know the father and the other was just irresponsibility. I had a child before both of them, but I was in no position at either time to bring another child in the world. I often feel selfish, but I too have repented. I especially feel guilty when my pastor talks about how wrong it is and how we should be voting for only those who are against it. Praying for you. That you can forgive yourself and put the past behind you. Just know that you are not alone.

      1. Karen Lockwood says:

        This is for Shelby and Jenn. Praying for you both. I’m not sure where you live, but I volunteer at a Pregnancy center in Oklahoma City. There is an abortion recovery program, which is a Bible study (group) called Forgiven and Set Free. If you can find this where you live, you can find a lot of healing and peace there.

    2. Pam says:

      Someone recently told me- don’t do “this” (something I was doing) without praying first. The Holy Spirit will give you direction if you ask. When we learn to do that – and listen- He will always speak to us in that still small voice. Usually it is not immediately when we ask, but later when we least expect it. Just pray, sweet girl, about leaving past sins behind and moving forward and I will pray for you too. The Holy Spirit will bring you a word of knowledge you need.

    3. Kristen says:

      Shelby,You are right. You are forgiven! Jesus thought of you and I when He went to the Cross. I’ve beaten myself up for years for everything! It’s been better though, because I needed to believe that if God forgives me, then I don’t have to keep beating myself up. His Word says, that He He makes our sins as far as the east is from the west. He remembers them no more. We stand before Him righteous, because of Jesus’ finished work on the Cross. His Precious Blood covered it all. Remind yourself that whom the Son sets free is free indeed! You are forgiven, loved, and redeemed! You were bought with a price! Carry that joy with you! You are blessed with a loving husband, so be free to be happy. God loves us and knows how to give us good gifts! I just read a devotional about our hearts being deceitful. We can’t trust our hearts, but we can trust what God says about us! You are fearfully and wonderful made! You are the apple of His eye! We can’t even count the thoughts He has toward us! He has a good plan for you! Please walk in your forgiveness and forgive yourself. I wasted a lot of time beating myself up and listening to others. We know bad things happen in this life, because we are in a fallen world. But remember Jesus said He has overcome the world. We are loved with an everlasting love. Hope this helps. I just don’t want you to suffer like I did. Trust me, I haven’t arrived, but by typing this I feel encouraged.

    4. Stephanie Laughlin says:

      Shelby, thank you for being vulnerable to share your pain. I just keep thinking, “there is no sin too great for our God to forgive” but I understand that it doesn’t take away feelings of shame and guilt. Hebrews 10:18 (and earlier verses) talk about how Christ’s sacrifice was sufficient for our sin and we have received forgiveness. I think it sometimes means minute by minute practice of reminding ourselves of this truth over and over again. God came for sinners and He deeply loves you!!

    5. Jennifer Nease says:

      Shelby, Jesus’ payment on the cross was enough. You need to accept it. He died so that you can live in his freedom, abiding in Him. Hold fast to him and accept the freedom he offers. He wants you to move on. Love husband, have babies, love your children, revel in the fact that your sins are gone. Jesus payed it all so that in freedom you can glorify him. Holding on to your past doesn’t. Let it go.❤

    6. Stephanie D says:

      Thanks for sharing your story Shelby. Shame is such a hard thing to deal with, sometimes you need help with it. If you haven’t yet, consider counseling to help transform your trauma- God has already done it, but sometimes we need some help believing and understanding it.

    7. Kimberly says:

      Dear Shelby and Jenn, the Lord wants you to find complete healing. I was privileged to be the Executive Director of a Pregnancy Center for 10 years. There is most likely one in your town. Though they are pro-life Christian ministries with a mission of helping women choose life, they are also ministries to help women with abortion in their past find healing. Our center does a program called Forgiven and Set Free. It is a study lead by women who have experienced abortion and is a safe place for you. Every woman I’ve known of who went through the class said it changed her life. It is a tool the Lord uses in a mighty way to bring healing to thousands. I hope you both (and anyone else in this community who has experienced abortion) will consider finding a pregnancy center near you that offers this program. To find a center near you go to, Care-Net.org then go to the bottom of the page for the link – Find a Pregnancy Center. Love and hugs and prayers for you both!

    8. chelsea says:

      Shelby,
      Thanks for being so vulnerable sharing your story. I’m sure it is bringing comfort to the thousands of others reading this too nervous to share. As a believer for many years, I crossed the sexual purity boundary and had a very difficult time forgiving myself because at that point I knew better. However, God knew my sin before I did and still chose me. He died for our sins in the past, in the present, and in the future and still died for you. Reminding myself that he knew my sin before I do, yet still chose to pursue me and forgive me, helps shake the lies I tell myself of not being worthy.

    9. Krystle says:

      Shelby,

      Romans 8:1 says “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” That means that Jesus paid it ALL! There’s no more punishment left for us, so we have to stop beating ourselves up! I read a quote that said “If God is satisfied in the sufferings of Christ, who are you to condemn?” I too deal with guilt and shame from past sins, and sometimes it feels like there are constant reminders of how much I’ve failed. But I try to turn my eyes on Jesus, and remind myself of God’s Truths: He has forgiven me, He loves me, and when He looks at me now, it is through the precious blood of Christ. I’ll pray that you’ll be able to see yourself the way He sees you. ❤️

    10. Dorothy says:

      Shelby, I have been in your shoes to a point but I didn’t end up with a good man. I did though end up with two wonderful sons. My one living son I wouldn’t trade for anything. I have had many battles, not with my parents but with men in my life, and by turning to God and allowing Him “to take the reins” I have found a wonderful life. There are two songs I suggest you listen to, “The Break Up Song” by Francesca Battistelli and “Fear Is a Liar” by Zach Williams, they might help you. I’ll be praying for you.

  5. Annelise says:

    It is always in the night that everything seems to come out. All of the sins come to mind. Sometimes I pray and sometimes I hide.

  6. Audrye Williams says:

    This really hits home. My boyfriend and I have been abstaining from sex until we are married. We were not living this way and I became very anxious and it broke me down. Now we have been trying to honor God and he has been faithful for about 2 months to protect us and keep our guard up … at the same time, it seems like God has been allowing things to come into both our lives to show us the worst of ourselves and sanctify us recently. I was in a bad car accident and my neck was hurt (again – same injury as another accident), some ugly truths came out about my boyfriend sometimes using pornography and all around just kind of a difficult period.

    This is definitely a time of discipline for both of us as no one likes to be confronted with their sins or problems. But I’m thankful he disciplined us to not have sex because at least in all of this I can thank him with a clean conscience.

    Thanks for reading if you made it all the way through. Please pray for us and our relationship and his discipline.

    I’m just praying

    1. Laura S says:

      Your honesty is refreshing. The truth is, whether hidden or open, we have all traveled the path of sin and temptation. Praying that God continues to give you strength and fills you with peace as He completes His work in you.

    2. Janet C says:

      Praying for you Audrye. How brave of you to recognize Gods desire and seek Him. Praying for you both

    3. Dorothy says:

      I’ll be praying for you and your boyfriend

  7. Kelly Chataine says:

    I walked a student to the office because she would not put her phone away nor would she take her earbuds out. She insisted that she was able to listen to her music, play on her phone, and learn Algebra. She deliberately defied both teachers in the room. As we walked together, I tried to reason with her and help her see that her judgment was not sound. She did not agree. When we got to the office, I requested a third party, a neutral party to listen to both sides and help us agree. The student sat there with both earbuds in her ears as the assistant principal tried to speak with the two of us. You see, we had her long-term good in mind and all she could see is the moment she was in. Aren’t we . . . Aren’t I just as stubborn with God’s discipline? I think I know what is best but clearly, I do not unless it comes directly from God! Praying that I take my spiritual earbuds out and become more willing to read, learn, and live out God’s guidelines and discipline.

    1. Mari V says:

      This is so true such great insight thank you Kelly

  8. Sue says:

    I must admit, when I’m awake at midnight it’s not usually to thank God for his righteous laws and judgements.

    But as I read the devotional today I am reminded that God wants to draw us to himself.

    So, may I be intentionally ‘thankful for Gods attentiveness as he reveals His heart to me.’

    May I be intentional in seeking areas of my life that need correction.

    May I be intentional in seeking wisdom.

    And by doing so, may I be more and more like Jesus.

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