Discipline is a pain that we must endure if we want to experience the power of a purpose-filled life. The Bible is clear that God only disciplines those He loves. (Hebrews 12) How much faith we put in this promise will determine how well we respond to the challenges life brings.

Rather than sparing us from all pain and suffering, God allows us to wrestle with it, knowing that in the end it will produce in us a God-like character that is unwavering and a living hope that will not be disappointed.

So, when tough times come, how can we begin to practice Godly discipline in our lives? Here are 4 ways:

1. Choose Sanctification over Security: Safety is an illusion apart from God nor can we run from pain forever. Better to walk with Him through the Valley of the Shadow of Death than to try soaring through the clouds flying solo. Let God use the difficult circumstances of life to train you for the purposes He has in store for you.  

2. Choose Purity over Position: There are many people jockeying for positions of power and recognition in this world. They practice strict discipline but for temporary gains. Micah 6:8 gives us a better goal. “What is good and what does the Lord require of you, but to do justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Discipline yourself to seek the kingdom of God first and let Him give you the earthly positions He wants you to have. There is no better place to be! 

3. Choose Commitment over Conformity: Don’t let the persuasiveness of others keep you from doing what you know is right. Set healthy boundaries in your relationships. You will be happier in the long run as your boundaries lead you into relationships built on unconditional love, truth, and trust.

4. Choose Interdependency over Individuality: to remain disciplined, we need others. We cannot go it alone and expect to make it very far. Surround yourself with people who will encourage you in your goals. You be that person for others too.

Question: At what times in your life have you experienced the most growth in your walk with God?