75: TRIAL – EMBRACING DISCIPLINE FROM GOD: The psalmist writes, “I know, O Lord,
that your laws are righteous, and in faithfulness you have afflicted me.” This
is hard verse to accept: Accountability from God. I would love to resolve to have everything go easy for me
this year and to have nobody get on my case when I mess up. I am a person that loves to do what I
want to do. I’m a creature of
comfort, and breaking my resolutions is more comfortable in the short run than
dealing with them.
point of verse 75 is that God disciplines us so that we will be people of
resolution who are able to follow after his ways because he knows that what’s
best for us is to live according to his ways. God afflicts us and gives us hardship sometimes so
that we can understand who we were created to be and how we were created to
live. If I’ve developed a bad
habit because I’m serving myself, God will bring situations or difficulty into
my life in order to give me the opportunity to live the right way. I may not like it, but in the Lord’s
faithfulness, I must learn to understand his commands and embrace his
reason everybody in the world is upset with Tiger Woods right now is because he
seemed like a person of discipline who had uncanny control over his life. Yet we have discovered that he
certainly lacked discipline.
Gillette, Accenture, AT&T, and almost the whole rest of the world is
disappointed in him. I’m sure he
doesn’t like it, but you know what, he has a real opportunity to have his life
remade for good. He has a real
chance to learn right now how to live more and more according to the way God
created him to live. He’s in
trouble. But through the
affliction of this period in his life, I pray he will turn to God more and
more, that he will better understand God’s faithfulness, and that he will learn
to live according to God’s ways.
And before you jump on his case too much, you must admit, just as the
writer of this psalm admitted, that we are all sheep who have gone astray. The same principle of discipline is
true for each one of us. If you are
messing it up by messing in sin, God will discipline you because he is faithful
to you and to his plan for you.
And if you aren’t willing to learn in the discipline, then your
resolutions are going to fail.
There can be no success without enduring through trial.
5 says that we rejoice in our sufferings; isn’t that crazy? It says that suffering produces
perseverance; perseverance produces character, and character produces hope. And hope does not disappoint us,
because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he
has given us.
of our New Year’s resolutions fail because we lack the necessary
self-discipline and we reject the divine-discipline from God. We want to be new but we don’t want to
go through the refining fire. But
to reject God’s faithfulness in discipline is to reject his accountability in
our lives. Proverbs 3:11 says, “My
son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because
the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.” And this moves us to an incredible core
(series continued tomorrow…)