Every significant task on earth requires training. The homemaker, the accountant, the pastor, the CEO all have to learn somewhere and somehow. To do life in the way God intends requires training, and God Himself, our Father, is our Master Trainer.
Ask anyone who has been trained or is in the process. To be rightly developed, there is a process involved that is often not easy. Part of this is to acclimate the trainee to the rigors of what they are about to do. A soldier must face some simulated battlefield conditions to be ready for the real thing.
We should expect nothing less from God as He equips us for the most important task of living purposefully to advance the kingdom, overcoming the world, the flesh, and the devil, and helping men towards heaven. There is a serious mission ahead for the believer with eternal consequences at stake.
We often do not embrace His training. We get resistant, confused, and upset at what is happening and what He is either causing or allowing. He uses difficult situations, tough relationships, hardship and suffering in ways that prepare us for all of life. Look through Hebrews, Chapter 11 at the great Roll Call of Faith and you will see that no great man or woman was spared this discipline.
In Hebrews, Chapter 12, the writer tells us that we should not "regard lightly the discipline of the Lord nor faint when you are reproved by Him." And, then He tells us why.
1. IT IS MOTIVATED BY PERFECT LOVE
For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives (vs. 6)
2. IT IS BUILDING INTO US ESSENTIAL DISCIPLINES
It is for discipline that you endure (vs. 7)
3. IT IS FROM OUR PERFECT FATHER WHO IS TREATING US AS HIS OWN CHILDREN
God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? (vs. 7-9)
4. EACH TRAINING IS MOMENTARY AND HAS AN END
For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them (vs. 10)
All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful (vs. 11)
5. IT IS ALWAYS DESIGNED TO BE BENEFICIAL
He disciplines us for our good (vs. 10)
6. ITS END GOAL IS TO MAKE US INTO HIS IMAGE
He disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness (vs. 10)
7. ALTHOUGH HARD, IT WILL YIELD THE PEACEFUL FRUIT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness (vs. 11)
As we are going through seasons of God’s training, we must see it for what it really is and embrace it with understanding, and even joy, giving thanks in all things. It is perfect in its purpose and will yield fruit in your life that you long for and cannot obtain any other way.
And we must never give up. Look to Jesus. Look to our Elder Brother who “endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (vs. 2)