Patiently enduring discipline!

When you feel the pressure of the Lord’s hand in discipline, don’t resist.

December 16

I will be patient as the LORD punishes me, for I have sinned against him. But after that, he will take up my case and give me justice for all I have suffered from my enemies. The LORD will bring me into the light, and I will see his righteousness.

Micah 7:9

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Patiently enduring discipline!

No one likes the idea of punishment. In fact, we will do anything we can to avoid it. Some people avoid punishment by living in a way that eliminates the need for punishment. Others will attempt to avoid punishment by shifting blame onto others or by refusing to acknowledge their guilt. Because no one is perfect, there is always the possibility that we will do something that deserves punishment.

Micah is prophesying during a time when the people of Israel are about to experience the punishment of God. They have been ignoring the warnings of prophets for over 100 years and God is finally about to do what He said He was going to do and kick them out of the Promised Land. The Northern tribes have already been taken into exile by Assyria and soon Judah will be exiled by the Babylonians.

Micah is looking ahead to the time of punishment that is coming. He tells his hearers to be patient as the Lord punishes them for their rebellion against Him. This reveals how much Micah trusts God to only do what is absolutely necessary. God takes no pleasure in disciplining His children. But because He loves them, He promises to discipline them when they need it. And since He is perfect, He knows exactly how much, what kind, and for how long the punishment should last.

As believers in Jesus Christ, we should not expect punishment, because Jesus took our punishment on the cross. But we should not doubt for a moment that God will discipline us to train us to be the kind of people He desires us to be. He is never arbitrary about discipline – He is very deliberate. Discipline is part of the work of God that helps us to be like His Son Christ.

In the New Testament, we are told that the Lord’s discipline is proof of His love and of our relationship as His children. Because God is good, perfect, holy, and loving, we can trust that whatever discipline He sends is exactly what we need. And if we cooperate with the work He is trying to accomplish, that discipline will only last as long as absolutely necessary.

When you feel the pressure of the Lord’s hand in discipline, don’t resist. Humble yourself before Him and submit yourself to the work He wants to do in you. And then patiently endure that discipline, reminding yourself of God’s infinite love for you. And then when the work is done, He will ‘bring me out of my darkness into the light’. Jesus, help us to trust You and patiently endure when we need to be disciplined.

Daily Bible Reading Plan:
Read: Micah 5:1-7:20; Revelation 7:1-17; Psalm 135:1-21; Proverbs 30:5-6