This week, we’re finishing up our discussion on Jerry Bridges’ book, “The Discipline of Grace,” by talking about being in training. Well, in all fairness, my co-facilitator and the others may opt to talk about something else from the chapter, but this is the part that jumped off the page at me, so let’s go with the analogy…
And I’m going to use a couple of different quotes, so just hang in there…
“There is no such thing as pain without a purpose in the life of a believer” (Bridges, 233).
“The discipline of hardship also produces peace for those who have been trained by it” (Bridges, 239).
Today, a friend of mine texted me. She’d had a dream about me last night and woke up a tad concerned about me, so she thought she’d check on me. And when I read her, “How are you doing?” The immediate answer that came to my mind was, “The battle goes on.” And y’all, that’s the truth. I’m not saying that life is bad, but it is hard, and it isn’t for the faint-hearted.
Reading this last chapter of Bridges’ book — which was on temptation, adversity, and discipline — I found this morsel of comfort just for me. And that comfort is that there is purpose in the pain; the pain prepares us. And because the pain prepares us, we have peace. Life doesn’t get easier. But we can have peace in the midst of it.
The analogy that came to my mind was this: Just as no general or commanding officer would send a recruit onto the front line with no training, so God trains us for the battles we face. We build up calluses, learn strategies, and get conditioned. It’s not always a gentle process. But it’s always necessary. And in the preparation, there’s strength and peace.
And I’ll end with this encouragement:
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” — James 1:2-4 NIV
Thank you for joining us! You do not have to read the book to share your thoughts; go ahead and comment! But if you have read the book and written a response, please link it up at the widget below. (Yes, I have the widget again, as my co-facilitator is posting from on the road with his family.) Speaking of co-facilitators, please go by and see what Jason has to say! After this, we are taking TWO WEEKS OFF before we will return to announce our next book (which we’ve already chosen, I’ve already started reading, and MAN it’s good)!