“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten.”
Of all the verses in Scripture, this seems to be the least likely to fill me with warm, fuzzy feelings. After all, who enjoys getting disciplined? Whether it’s getting pulled over for speeding or being told by someone that you’re not following the Lord in what you are doing, it’s not a particularly enjoyable experience!
But, shouldn’t we be thankful for those times we’re confronted? I sometimes have a hard time accepting instruction from others- it’s easy to think that I can just figure it out on my own.
Yet as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that when my parents corrected me, it was out of love. They did so because they saw me going down a path that they knew would cause more trouble in the long run.
And this is the same with God! Proverbs 3:11-12 says, “My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.”
So whenever He allows hardship or pain to enter your life, stop and ask yourself: is this the Lord showing me that I’m off the right path? Sometimes it will be, and sometimes it won’t. But from my experience, I know that it is often true that the Lord uses uncomfortable and painful things to draw me closer to Him. It is in those painful circumstances that I am more likely to seek Him.
So, let’s remember: just as our parents correct us out of love, God does the same because He sees the big picture and wants to keep us from making worse decisions down the road! We should be thankful for His discipline.