For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. (Hebrews 12:11 ESV)
I don’t think I’ll ever forget the many pre-season training camps for soccer that I endured throughout my life. Every year through high school and college, my teammates and I would come together to be “tortured” for 2-4 weeks under the guise of “training and preparation.” If you’d asked me during any one of those pre-season camps whether or not it was pleasant or worth it, I’d probably have said no.
Looking back on things though, because I went through these camps, I was ready to endure whatever came my way during the actual seasons that followed. Discipline tends to have that effect. At times, we may not know why we’re doing something. It may be painful to continue. We may not like it. However, as we go through the process of discipling ourselves, we do 2 things: 1) we express our faith in God’s faithfulness; and 2) we prepare ourselves for the seasons we’ll inevitably come into where our training will ultimately carry us through. By definition, the end will literally justify the means of getting there.
The Scripture says, “… discipline seems painful (…) but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness..” Because our times of training and discipline, we will be able to have peace in later times of trouble that allow us to overcome and pursue righteousness when faced with temptation.