Quarantine Soul Care: Grace and Training

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This is part of an ongoing series during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. To engage further in the #QuarantineSoulCare series, click here.

Grace is a lovely word; it promises kindness, favor, and goodwill. The word discipline, though, carries the connotation of training, strictness, and correction. Although these words seem unlikely companions, God creatively unites them when he trains and disciplines his children.
Certainly it is his unmerited favor that offers and bestows salvation. Our relationship with God begins with his grace and his grace alone. But this unconditional grace he showers upon us spills over into our everyday lives as he purposes to mold and conform us to the image of Christ and to correct us when we sin. …
The melding of God’s grace and training are clearly exemplified in the life of the apostle Paul. We’ve studied the blessing of God’s grace for Paul as he lived with a humility-producing thorn, which was sent to counteract potential pride from receiving remarkable revelations from the Lord. When Paul prayed for the thorn’s removal, God’s answer was,

“My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you”
–2 Corinthians 12:9, AMPC

The thorn was God’s chosen way to care firmly for Paul’s soul. Although the thorn was undeniably uncomfortable, it was accompanied by the Lord’s empowering grace to endure.
God’s discipline of Miriam for challenging Moses’ leadership was grounded in grace. Her conduct needed to be called into account; she needed to be reminded to say no to worldly ambition and to live a self-controlled life. Miriam was chastened, swiftly and temporarily. I am sure she would attest to this truth: “No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way” (Hebrews 12:11).
God loves us too much to let us alone. He is a faithful Father who desires the highest and best for us, and his intention is to reshape us into wise, righteous, and devoted children who live the faithful way.
God’s discipline is bathed in grace. We are loved, forgiven, and accepted by our Father, but as our Father, he is committed to training and chastening us. We need his uncomfortable grace; it is for our good.

My dear child, don’t shrug off God’s discipline,
but don’t be crushed by it either.
It’s the child he loves that he disciplines;
the child he embraces, he also corrects.
–Hebrews 12:6-11, The Message

Today may you experience the grace in God’s discipline. May you grow in wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to the God who loves you. #quarantinesoulcare Click To Tweet

Today’s reading was taken from The Faithful Way by Cynthia Heald.

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