Have you ever felt this way? I want to trust God, but I just don’t know what He is up to.
God’s discipline could be the reason for your pain. The pain you are going through could be a form of discipline from God, training you for a better future.
The Problem of Discipline – Discipline is the thing you need the most for long-term maturing, yet it is often the thing you want the least in the immediate moment.
Discuss the following and then share your responses: What comes to mind when you hear the word discipline? Do you view this as a good thing or a bad thing? How many of you connected discipline with punishment? Have you ever had to be the one who gave discipline to someone else. What was that like?
Discipline (paideia from país = child) – means to provide instruction with the intent of forming proper habits of behavior, of providing guidance for responsible living, of rearing and guiding a child toward maturity; paideia is a broad term, signifying whatever parents and teachers do to train, correct, cultivate, and educate children in order to help them develop and mature as they ought.
1. God’s discipline is evidence of two key concepts – Hebrews 12:4-8
- His authority
- His love relationship
2. God’s discipline teaches us the life giving benefits of submission – Hebrews 12:9
- I submitted not because I understood the process. I submitted because I trusted the authority.
What are the life-giving benefits – Hebrews 12:10-12
Key Application: Pause and ponder your pain. What could God be teaching you? How could God be preparing you?
TALK IT OUT
- What do you think of when you hear the word discipline? How is discipline different from punishment?
- Some people believe that when bad things happen, it is because God is punishing us for our sins. Read Isaiah 53:3-6; Hebrews 10:10,14,17-18; and 1 John 1:9. According to these passages, punishment for our sins has already taken place. When did that happen? What additional punishment is required from us today to pay for our sins?
- The basic components of discipline include instruction, guidance and training. Read 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Psalm 94:12 and Psalm 119:11,24,102,105. From these passages, what would you say is one of God’s primary means of disciplining us? Give an example of how you have experienced God’s discipline via this method.
- Read James 1:17, Ephesians 5:15-16, Ephesians 6:12-13, Isaiah 43:2 and Romans 8:28. Even though God does not cause the evil we experience in this world, neither does He shield us from every encounter with it. According to these verses, what assurance does He give us when we find ourselves facing evil, hardships and suffering?
- Read Hebrews 5:7-9, Hebrews 12:7-11 and James 1:2-4. What benefits did God’s discipline produce in and through the life of Jesus? What benefits can we expect God’s discipline to produce within and through our own life?
LIVE IT OUT
- In what area of your life are you most resistant to discipline? Why? Ask God to help you see His purposes for you in this area.
- In what ways do you feel God may be disciplining the Body of Christ in general through this COVID-19 crisis? In what ways do you feel He may be disciplining you personally? What adjustments are you making in response to that discipline?