• Redeemer Stillwater

Embracing God's Discipline

Updated: May 29, 2018


This is part one of a three-part series on the nature of suffering and God's discipline. Read part two here and part three here.


Early on in his book How Long, O Lord? Reflections on Suffering and Evil, D.A. Carson candidly says, “The truth of the matter is that all we have to do is live long enough, and we will suffer.”[1] He goes on to cite examples ranging from death, war, poverty, and starvation to disappointments, infidelity, a sense of failure, and the general pressures of life. Most people will readily agree with the reality and pervasiveness of suffering based upon their own life experiences and the observations of the world around them. Suffering varies by degree and is no respecter of persons. For the Christian, the Bible treats trials and suffering as among the “givens” of life (Ps. 13, 88; Jn. 16:33; Rom. 5:3-4, 8:17-18, Jas. 1:2-4; 1 Pet. 1:6-7) resulting from the Fall in Genesis 3. While suffering befalls all people, Carson also treats the kinds of sufferings that are unique to Christians: discipline, opposition, and persecution. In speaking of the discipline of the Lord he draws heavily on Hebrews 12 and asserts its reality for all Christians.


The Discipline of the Lord