Nobody likes to be punished; we like to say we are sorry and let it go at that. Especially when it comes to facing up to our sins before God, we want to admit guilt, confess our sins and it just all be forgiven and “forgotten.”
Well, it does not always work that way. We cannot just take for granted our adoption into the Body of Christ as one of God’s children because we believe in Jesus. With this adoption as a child of God comes that old adage, “live in my house, live by my rules.”
We cannot just take the good stuff in the Bible that makes us happy and gleeful; we must also take the justice and accept the truth of the matter — which is that we will be chastised — even though we are loved and forgiven, or rather because we are loved and forgiven.
“And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.” (Hebrews 12:5-6, KJV).
Throughout the Old Testament, we learn that we are to fear God. In the New Testament, Jesus teaches us that God’s love is all-encompassing; yet, He also teaches us about God’s justice and how His truth and His ways are all that matters.
We have many parables that teach us about loving the Lord with our hearts, not merely with outward appearances, because He sees our hearts and the reason behind our actions — whether they are for self-glory or for His glory. We know that God is slow to anger and that He lets us get by “seemingly” with a lot of things before He takes action to reign us back into our appropriate place of humbleness.
There are also times when He is quick to put us in our place, like if we become haughty or arrogant with our blessings, or if we fail to obey, or even if we are slothful in our duties.
It is humiliating to be chastised, or put in our place, especially in public; but, when we are guilty of overstepping our bounds, we have to take it and wait for mercy. God is our Father. He sent His own Son to be a sacrifice for our sins. He wants us to be obedient, and He is ready to forgive when we ask; but, He also is the ultimate Father that helps us to be better children. Therefore, He does chasten us at times.
However, even with this chastening comes His love, “If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?” (Hebrews 12:7).
Just as we honor our earthly fathers because they corrected us and helped us develop better characters, we honor our Heavenly Father all the more because of correction.
“Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? 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. 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.” (Hebrews 12:9-11).