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

BY Lore Ferguson Wilbert

In the past, 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.

The psalmist, 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, this author thanked God for His righteous judgments. He thanked God for keeping His promise to deal with sin and to not overlook it. The fact that God disciplines sin enough to keep the author 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 12:5–6). In Psalm 94, the psalmist 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 upright in heart will follow it” (vv.13,15). And so by pressing into 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 4:9).

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 to have a heart like the one in these psalms—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 me, ready to awaken me to His righteous judgments, which are always for my good and His glory.

Post Comments (51)

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

  1. Missy Csonka says:

    Man I really hate it when a good friend that is a Christ-follower is honest with me and love me enough to help me understand the error of my ways. It’s in regard to my aging mother who lives with us and also my husband who is not being the head of our home spiritually. I get so angry and annoyed with Mom and husband for doing things that really get under my skin. My dear friend is acting on God’s behalf to help me see things His way and that I need to be the change that I want to see in my family dynamic. I don’t want to be wrong in this situation but I am. It’s very difficult when you feel that you are the only one doing what you think God wants you to be doing and everyone else is in the wrong. Had a big piece of humble pie sliced up for me. GOD does love me and I thank him in thru my friend. I have so much anxiety with Mom being here and just being annoyed with almost everything she does. I have been a lot about all of it. Thank you God for bring attentive to my errors and short comings enough to tell me.

  2. Lakechia Smith says:

    I have to press through God’s discipline in order to gain His wisdom and understanding. At the moment my partner and I are budding heads about certain things but I know it’s God’s way of humbling the both of us.❤️

  3. Claire B says:

    ♥️

  4. Heather Schmudlach says:

    My husband and I are going through a very humbling season. God is lovingly correcting us

  5. Shelby Arevalo-Daszkiewicz says:

    I feel that He is speaking to me through these verses and feel convicted to be honest with myself about my own heart. ♥️

  6. Colleen DeVeau says:

    Thank you, @TINA, for sharing those lyrics with us today. Thank You for reminding us of His faithfulness and what our role is in our relationship with Him.
    Father, help us to remain faithful and accept Your discipline and grace. Thank You for leading us in the way we should go.
    Thank you very much, fellow Shes, for your continued prayers for my father and me.
    I received another call from my father’s rehab this morning about how my dad fell out of bed at or about 0430 ET and has an abrasion on his knee. They are not sure how or why he fell. It’s hard to be so far away from my dad and not be able to help or run to his side when things happen. When I told my husband about the call & my father’s fall, he said he had been woken up by of our little ones in the night and found himself praying for my father at 0330 ET. It reminded me that God is very aware and with my dad at all times. He still has not forgotten him.
    I will be seeing my primary doctor tomorrow (11/29) for an evaluation after the medical issues I’ve been going through with my heart to see if I’m ready to return to work and drive again. I’m nervous about going back to work after being out since the first full week of November. I’m concerned that the stress and anxiety of returning to that work environment may bring back some of the symptoms. I know my fear is irrational, but after five years of having intermittent medical complications that seem to have the common denominator of stress, it’s not too far fetched. Pray that I would believe what I believe about God concerning my dad: God is very aware and with me at all times. He still has not forgotten me. He has gotten me through each and every trial that I have ever faced. He will not stop now.
    I am continuing to lift each of you and your requests up in my prayers. “May the Lord bless you and protect you; may the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you; may the Lord look with favor on you and give you peace,” (Numbers 6:24-26).

  7. Teresa Donley says:

    I was raised in a “hell and brimstone” church which scared people into getting saved. They also preached that if we were not in the perfect will of God, He was going to take something very dear to our hearts away in order to discipline us. I spent many nights begging God not to take away someone I loved. As I got older, I just knew God was going to take my husband, my daughter, my family, my home, etc. because I didn’t feel like I knew that perfect will of God. Eventually, I got away from that church and joined a church that actually taught about God’s love, and that He didn’t want me to live in constant terror of Him, but to live in such a way that showed my love for Him – love that comes from a grateful heart rather than life altering fear. What a change. But I have to admit that the word, “discipline,” still conjures visions of terror for me. I ran into many people in my work who believed they had a terminal illness because God was punishing them for some awful sin in their life. Many asked me what they had done wrong to deserve this punishment from God. I find that heartbreaking. God loves us. He isn’t like some ogre in heaven, looking down on us, just waiting for us to mess up so He can use His mighty hand of punishment on us. Illness and death are a natural part of life on earth that entered the earth from Adam. Because sin exists, so does death exist.
    I guess I told you all that to share that this is a truly difficult topic for me. I struggle not to live in abject fear that one of my many sins is going to be the one that kills one of my loved ones. I think that is a warped view of God’s discipline. He loves me so much that He already sacrificed His Son, the one and only blood sacrifice that could cover my sin. He wants me to live for Him and respect, love and praise Him because He loves me.
    I’m 66 years old, and I’ve struggled with this more during some times of my life than others. When I spend time with God through prayer and through His Word, I know that I am forgiven, and can offer heartfelt praise to Him.
    I’ve been enlightened by reading all your comments today. Thank you for your willingness to share your deepest thoughts and feelings. It is truly a community of love and support. I’m praying for all your requests as I read them, and often throughout the day.

    1. Emilie Jones says:

      Thank you for sharing your testimony. I grew up fearing god too. I was raised Catholic and the church we went to put more favoritism in the pope’s and priests then Jesus almost as if they were modern day Jesus’ wjich took away the whole point of Jesus in my opinion. It wasn’t until I was saved when I started to love scripture more and love God more than fear the outcome of my actions.

  8. Kimberly Z says:

    Happy Monday! Choosing to be thankful in times of uncertainty is hard. Finding discipline to choose thankfulness is hard. @RHONDA J I completely agree that none of us really enjoy discipline but it does help have a better attitude. As somebody who was angry for years being “the single one” and not understanding Gods timing I understand how hard it is to decide to find joy. Even though I’ve been in a steady relationship for six months I can see now how God has shaped my heart over the years. Praying for people to feel that same thing while they’re in the midst of hard times vs. being able to see it once they’re out of it. I know I should have chosen to lean on God and his timing much more when I needed it the most. Asking for prayers for my sister as she has her new apartment but is leery to move in and wants to get rid of it. I think she’s afraid to leave her situation even though she knows it’s best. It’s hard to not get frustrated with her and chose mean words instead of being patient. Praying God helps her make the right choice and patience for me.

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