When we become children of God through our faith in our Lord Jesus, we become part of God's family. Our Heavenly Father becomes our Father who takes care of us and makes us more like our Lord Jesus. Our Heavenly Father becomes our guardian. He is raising us up as His children, and because of that, He has the right to discipline us to make sure that we are walking in the right way. His discipline always relates to our rebellion against Him. When we do not listen and obey what He is telling us, we are rebelling against Him, and when we rebel against God, He has to discipline us to restore us. God knows that our rebellion is harmful to us because sin always leads us to death and destruction. Since our Heavenly Father loves us so much, He will do anything to protect us from destroying ourselves. His discipline for us is always based on His unconditional love toward us. God knows that His discipline can be painful, but His ultimate goal is to restore us. Psalm 38:9-12, "All my longings lie open before you, Lord; my sighing is not hidden from you. My heart pounds, my strength fails me; even the light has gone from my eyes. My friends and companions avoid me because of my wounds; my neighbors stay far away. Those who want to kill me set their traps, those who would harm me talk of my ruin; all day long they scheme and lie."
The kids and youth that I have always had a hard time ministering to are the kids and youth who do not have discipline in their homes. They are disrespectful and do not listen to instructions. They just want to do whatever they want. They become destructive. If they are not going to change, it is a matter of time before they will end up in big trouble or even harm themselves. Almost all of the kids and youth that go to juvenile court are undiscipline kids. As an adult, I fear for their future because they do not know the consequences of their wrongdoings. Discipline teaches us that wrongdoings lead us to harmful consequences, and this is exactly the reason God is disciplining us. God is protecting and teaching us. True love protects and teaches, but false love neglects discipline.
God disciplines us because He loves us. His discipline does not come from dislike or hate. When we are restored after God's discipline, we will be more grateful for His love because we know that He saved us from destroying ourselves because of our rebellion.
Questions for application: (Think through these questions carefully, meditate on them while answering them, and let the Spirit of God speak to you). What is discipline? Why does God discipline me? Why is it dangerous for me to rebel against God?
Write down all the worries you face today and lift them up to God.
Father in Heaven, thank you for loving me unconditionally. Thank you for disciplining me every time I rebel against you so that you can restore me to the right path. Please guard my heart from rebelling and give me the willing heart to obey and listen to you. In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.