Day: April 24, 2016

Don’t Despise the Chastening of the Lord

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de·spise: strongly dislike; have no respect for

chas·ten: to correct by suffering; to purify; to prune; to cause one to be more humble

My dad was very strict growing up. He wouldn’t let me do anything I wanted to do, but my older sister got to stay out all night. She got to go places I couldn’t go. It wasn’t fair. Why did he treat me differently than my sister? How I wished I could be like everybody else. I wanted to do what everyone else was doing, but my dad wouldn’t let me.

I remember the day my dad came to visit me after the birth of my first child. As he sat in the living room looking at me holding my daughter, I thanked him for being hard on me. I thanked him for not letting me hang around just anybody. No, I didn’t like it then, but I appreciated it now. His love and his ‘no’ protected me from many things.

Have you ever wondered why God wouldn’t let you have something that you really wanted or why He wouldn’t let you do whatever you wanted to do?

In Hebrews 12:5, God speaks to us as His sons (and daughters) and we should feel honored that He calls us son. Not only did He choose us (John 15:16), but He adopted us into His family (Ephesians 1:5). All of God’s children receive correction and discipline. No one is exempt. Even though you are an adult  now, you are still a child – of God. You may be grown, but you’re not too grown to receive correction. And just because He calls you His child, doesn’t mean that He doesn’t expect you to grow up.

Our parents chastened us for a few days (Hebrews 12:10), but God corrects us all of our days here on earth. They corrected us based on what seemed good to them. God corrects us based on what is good for us. They did what they thought was best, but God knows what is best. Everything He does is for your good. God doesn’t love us by giving us whatever we want. He loves us by disciplining us. If He didn’t care about you, He wouldn’t correct you. His discipline is proof that He loves you.

No chastening for the present seem to be joyous (Hebrews 12:11). It may seem grievous to us, but what about God’s Spirit? We grieve Him when we don’t obey Him. No, we don’t enjoy being disciplined. It won’t always feel good, but you will see the good that comes from it. It hurts at the time because He doesn’t want us to repeat it, but He wants us to learn from it. God wants us to bear good fruit and after you learn the lesson from His chastening, it produces the peaceable fruit of righteousness.

The only time Jesus wants us to become like little children is when we humble ourselves as children. Everything is not going to always go our way. You may not always understand what God is doing, but He’s not trying to harm you. So don’t get mad with God. Don’t take it personal when He corrects you. If you believe that God is good, you should also believe that what He is doing in your life is good. There is no reason to be sad. Happy is the man who God corrects  (Job 5:17). Don’t lose heart or give up because of rebuke. Endure God’s chastening because what you endure is disciplining you.

Both Matthew and Mark wrote about a woman who had an alabaster box of very precious ointment, which was used to anoint Jesus. Because the disciples didn’t understand what she was doing or why she was doing it, they became angry and asked why she wasted the ointment when she could have sold it and given the money to the poor. Jesus immediately rebuked His disciples for bothering the woman, but it was Judas who took offense and later betrayed Jesus. Don’t be like Judas. Don’t let offense, anger or anything separate you from God or from the love of God.

God is not against you. He is for you (Romans 8:31). God is not punishing you. He is training you. You are going somewhere (in Him) and God is training you up in the way you should go. He’s training you to be a leader, a parent, a spouse. He’s training you for success. He’s training you to be trustworthy, faithful and obedient. Jesus had to learn obedience also, but it was from the things He suffered. You may not like the way God deals with you, but this is how God treats His children. Sometimes the enemy will tell you that no one loves you, but you are loved. If He didn’t love you, He wouldn’t discipline you. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten  (Revelation 3:19).

The reason why you are treated differently is because you are different. You are not like everyone else. God doesn’t have spoiled children. He that spares his rod hates his son, but he that loves him, chastens him early  (Proverbs 13:24). He doesn’t wait until it’s too late. He starts disciplining and training us early.

When Jesus rebuked the winds and the sea, they obeyed Him and when He rebukes us, we are to repent and obey Him also…

Don’t despise the chastening of the Lord.