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. Ada McCloud says:

    I needed this lesson today. I need to listen to the discipline.

  2. Candice Kedroe says:

    Lord, you are so awesome!
    To think I’m up at 4am feeling guilty about slipping back into something that I said I will not do as it goes against everything I believe as a Christian. & I open the app and this is today’s read.
    Lord I thank you for your discipline.

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