By Joanie Yoder

No chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness. —Hebrews 12:11

Years ago I was an extremely anxious Christian. When I began spiraling downward emotionally, God didn’t intervene, for He knew I needed to reach the end of myself. When I finally hit rock bottom, the “rock” on which I fell was Jesus Christ.
The Lord immediately began rebuilding me, applying truths from His Word to teach me trust and faith. Gradually He changed me into the joyful, God-dependent person He intended me to be. Through this painful but profitable experience, I learned that when God disciplines us, our greatest gain isn’t what we get but what we become.

In Hebrews 12, we read that our heavenly Father loves us too dearly to let us remain immature. Like any loving father, He disciplines, corrects, and trains us—often through difficult situations. God uses our times of struggle to help us grow and make us more holy (vv.10-11).

Many people are motivated to live for health, wealth, and ease, and they try to avoid pain at all costs. But the abundant life that God intends for His people isn’t trouble-free. Growth and change are often unsettling, but the gain is worth the pain.

We shrink from the purging and pruning,
Forgetting the Gardener who knows:
The deeper the cutting and paring
The richer the cluster that grows. —Anon.

God uses setbacks to move us forward.

Devotional forwarded to you by:


NCCP Ecumenical Ministry – Church of the Risen Lord

University of the Philippines, Diliman Campus, QC


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