For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Hebrew 12:11
I love the contrast in this verse—in the moment BUT later.
We so often forget about later and just focus on this moment. It’s not surprising though, is it? We’re surrounded with Carpe Diem, eat drink and be merry, and of course YOLO.
But living for the moment leaves little room
for the difficulties and experiences that seem unpleasant. And discipline? No thank you.
This verse so eloquently and concisely explains why read the Bible more, spend time in prayer, exercise, finally share with that friend, and so many more are on our New Year’s Resolution list every single year. It’s because these things are painful.
You might be thinking, okay obviously exercise is painful (at least when I do it) or maybe even sharing the Gospel with a friend can be painful in a socially awkward kind of way but praying or reading my Bible more? I don’t know about that.
Here’s the thing though, for these things to actually happen we have to give up something else. Something in our lives has to change if we want to change. Maybe it’s more sleep—getting up earlier so you can have time to read and pray before class. Maybe it’s time you usually spend relaxing and watching the Flash (okay or your TV show of choice). Maybe it’s the long trek to the gym when it’s ten degrees outside and all your roommates are still warm in their beds. Discipline is painful because it costs us something. You and I will not change and grow by continuing in the same habits as before.
Discipline is unpleasant at the time but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. As Christians, even though it is easy to forget, we are living for so much more than this moment. We have the hope of eternity. We have the hope of later. This has the power to shift our eyes from just this moment to the grand scope of God’s plan. With the Holy Spirit, this has the power to move us from who we wish we were to more of who God has called us to be.
For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
How is God calling you today to look past this moment and live for later? How will you let discipline yield its peaceful fruit of righteousness in your life today?