If it’s hard, it’s good.
Hebrews 12:11 says no discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
I have scribbled in my bible from some time ago next to that verse that hardship develops discipline, and discipline requires devotion. A few of the definitions Merriam-Webster gives for discipline is: control gained by enforcing obedience or order, orderly or prescribed conduct or pattern of behavior, self-control, punishment, training that corrects, molds, or perfects the mental faculties or moral character.
It’s not the hardships we become devoted to, but to the process and what it requires from us, what it cultivates in us, and how it grows us mentally, physically, and spiritually. We can all look back on plenty of moments where we have given up in relationships, athletics, careers, hobbies, fitness, educations, etc. Things are hard, and that’s common ground for all of us.
One thing I realized a long time ago is that there was an issue I observed as I grew up. So many people spent so much time trying to make things easy and make their lives comfortable, that when the circumstances were out of their control, and the only choice they had was to navigate the hardships, they gave up. We know the hardships will come, so why do we run from them rather than towards them?
Hebrews 12:11 shifts the perspective. It shifts the story that hardships are obstacles to hardships being opportunities and a necessity for anyone to become better in who you are, what you can do, and the impact you make. Something I have started to discipline myself in is a phrase that I say when the going gets tough: If it’s hard, it’s good. It doesn’t mean I don’t want to give up so many times, but it does remind me that through the power of Christ within me, I am operating at a different level.
Thanks to @mayhemathlete for sharing this verse the other day and stirring my heart and soul for God through fitness.