"I bear my willing witness that I owe more to the fire, and the hammer, and the file, than to anything else in my Lord's workshop. I sometimes question whether I have ever learned anything except through the rod. When my schoolroom is darkened, I see most." ~C.H. Spurgeon
Proverbs 13:24 "He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes."
Hebrews 12:6-7 "For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?"
Does the Lord have His hand of correction on you right now?
Let me encourage you: That correction is proof of His love.
God wants the very best for us at all times. When we stray from His way, He longs to bring us back into obedience and fellowship.
If His goodness doesn't move our hearts, then He will chasten us, punish us, in love, to draw us back to His side.
The alternative of God's chastening us, His ignoring our sin, is an awful thing. If He does not take us to task for our sin, the Scripture tells us that we are not His children.
Hebrews 12:8 "But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons."
The point of chastisement isn't simply to bring us back into alignment with the will of God. It also serves to remind us that we are His.
His children are His responsibility, and He used His blessings as well as His chastenings to conform us to the image of His dear Son.
Hebrews 12:10 "For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness."
I know it is a painful place to be. I know that no punishment is joyful. There have been days that I felt I would surely die under His hand of chastisement. I felt that I couldn't bear another day of His correction. But God promises that it will do a work in our hearts and that it will bring blessing into our lives.
Hebrews 12:11 "Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby."
Our heart's response to His chastening should be one of gratitude, submission and obedience.
Job 5:17 "Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty"
We must not despise God's punishment. We must see it for what it is: our Father's love in action.