Painful Progress: The Benefits Of Experiencing God’s Discipline

Painful Progress: The Benefits Of Experiencing God’s Discipline

Friday’s Column: Brent’s Bent

“For the moment, all discipline seems not to be pleasant, but painful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterward it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness” (Hebrews 12.11 NASB).

My lumbar muscles started spasming as I sat in the infusion chair. This was also the case the last time I took this medication. My body must get used to the medicine before these side- effects disappear. Unfortunately, I had to restart the drug due to abscesses that had formed in my abdomen. Since my treatment weakens my immune system, any bacteria in abscesses may get more robust and harder to treat. So, I have to start over and take the loading dose before switching to getting an infusion every eight weeks.

These anti-inflammatory drugs target a tumor necrosis factor protein. The normal function of TNF is beneficial because it eliminates necrotic (dead) tissue. Necrotic tissue is absent, however, in autoimmune disorders. However, a rogue inflammatory response causes the body to attack itself regardless. When the immune system kills healthy cells instead of invaders, it puts the body under a lot of stress. So, you have no choice but to take what might seem like an extreme step to fix your health problem, which will hurt your immune system in the long run. However, autoimmune diseases are unusual and necessitate drastic measures.

In Hebrews 12.4–11, the inspired author discusses God’s discipline and compares it to the discipline people receive from their earthly fathers, which is not always good. Even though we know they aren’t perfect, we usually don’t hold them accountable when they discipline us because we think it’s for our good. If this is the case with a physical father, it must be even more so with the Father of our spirits. Indeed, our heavenly Father disciplines us so that we can become holy and live righteously. That’s why, although this form of discipline isn’t fun and may even be uncomfortable at times, we can’t help but value the result.

So, the next time you have “conscience spasms,” consider how they are a sign that God’s medicine is purging you of impurity.

Brent Pollard

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