You Are What You Think


Friday, November 8, 2013

Concluding Thought on Hope

                                              WHAT DOES DISCIPLINE CAUSE?

            Initially, discipline hurts because it stretches you, but after a while it becomes a normal practice.  Sticking to the process will give you the ability to keep going.  You will develop endurance and gain a sense of peace.
Stretching - Development -Protraction- Amplification
Stretching causes you to go beyond your normal capacity.  It feels good at first but there is a certain point when it begins to hurt.  You are no longer comfortable and there has to be something on the inside that keeps you from quitting or emotionally collapsing.  There are two kinds of stretching. Voluntary stretching is when you take the time to go beyond your known capability. You choose to push past pain so your body will learn to extend further. Involuntary stretching is when you are made to stretch in order to grow.  My children are both growing and often tell me their legs are aching.  They have no choice, nature says they must grow and pain comes with it. It is the same for spiritual growth.  Voluntary growth comes when you choose to push past the regular routine of prayer and bible reading and study, meditate and implement God’s word no matter what. Involuntary growth comes when revelation comes by either the Word or life situations and you are compelled to change your behavior and thinking.  Both hurt because either way you are pushed beyond your known capacity and the body, mind and emotions try to rebel. This means that when stretching begins a choice has to be made.  A good choice will be made when the focus is not on the pain but on the hope of the end result.  When the right kind of hope is exercised there is joy that comes with the pain. My son wants to be 6’3 so when his legs hurt he says, “Yes, I’m growing”.  I should say the same thing when I am pushed out of my comfort zone toward what I hope for.  The word says I am to, press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward. (Philippians 3:14).
Endurance - Patience
This race is not a sprint, it is an endurance race.  Hope focuses on something that is not in the present. It understands that it must keep moving to reach its goal. Hope does not look for instant gratification. It does not become weary in doing well because it realizes it will reap what it has sown.  The right kind of hope, that gets excited, mediates, develops faith, disciplines itself to work toward an expected end will soon see its reward.  Because this kind of hope is confident that it will receive the object on which it is focused, it brings peace. This peace is an automatic product of endurance.  Staying focused and consistently performing the requirements to meet a goal allows you to have confidence to keep going.  Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but [only] one receives the prize? So run [your race] that you may lay hold [of the prize] and make it yours. (1 Corinthians 9:24).

            Confidence that what I have hoped for will come to past, gives me a peace that pass man’s comprehension.  I am able to keep my focus and emotions in check.   I can do as the scripture says in Colossians 3:15, And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ’s] one body you were also called [to live]. And be thankful (appreciative), [giving praise to God always].

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