Summary: What benefits are acquired by the Lord Chastening His people.
"Chastened by the Lord"
By: Rev. Jerry VanTilburg
Have you ever asked the Lord, “Why are you doing this to me, do you watching me suffer or Lord are you trying to kill me enjoy?!” Perhaps you have told Him you were fed up, tired of it, and you weren’t going to take it anymore. Honestly, I think we all have experienced some of these sentiments. But why as God’s children, knowing that He loves and cares for us, make such accusatorial statements?
We must realize there are many reasons, everything from lack of consecration to being out of God’s will. But even the child of God who sincerely loves God and despite his or hers consecration, will at times go through this process of chastisement. Through these times we are not to complain, Proverbs 3:11 tells us “My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord, neither be weary of His correction.” Hebrews 12:5 admonishes us, “…not to faint at the Lord’s correction.” The word faint means to not give up or relax from labor. So when we are being chastised by the Lord we shouldn’t give up but rather give in to Him and His plan for us. Therefore, we should accept the process with praise and thankfulness to Him for loving us enough to take the time to correct us. We must always bear in mind that we are speaking of eternal matters and not temporal.
We must always remember, chastisement isn’t punishment but rather the Lord working with His children. Psalms 94:12 says, “Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O Lord, and teachest him out of thy law.” The reason this isn’t punishment is because Christ took the punishment for us at the cross. Isaiah 53:5-4 tells us that Christ was stricken, smitten, wounded, and bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace being laid on Him. Romans 4:25 says, speaking of Christ, “Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised for our justification.” This is why it is wrong for Christians to punish other Christians for failures.
Chastisement from the Lord proves two things, he loves us and we are sons or daughters of God and not “bastard children”. Proverbs 3:12 tells us that God as our Father loves and delights in those whom He chastises. Hebrews 12:6-8 says, “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as sons, for what son is he whom the Father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.” This tells us if we aren’t at times chastised we aren’t God’s children. This explains why some people in the church world seemingly “get away with murder” and nothing apparently happenings to them. God is therefore accused of ignoring their actions. But we must remember that these individuals don’t belong to Him. So the Lord deals with them in a different manner—i.e. judgement that will eventually come. Revelation 3:19 says, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten, be zealous therefore, and repent.” So then if we as Christians sin or go in a wrong direction we are to repent, turn around and go Gods way, this is what repent means.
In chastening His children, God doesn’t treat us harshly but gently with fatherly love. Job 5:17-18 tells us, “Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth, therefore despise not the chastening of the Almighty. For He maketh sore and bindeth up, He woundeth and His hands make whole.” We must remember that God love us and nothing happens to us by chance. God either causes or allows everything that happens to His children. When the Lord chastises us He does so with kindness and love. The question may arise, “how do I know if I am be chastised by the Lord or is this a battle I am enduring?” The answer to this is sometimes not easy to determine. However, if we as Christians will take every concern and problem to the Lord asking for His leading, He will answer. He is faithful to lead us through every time. He told us in Matthew 28:20 “…lo I am with you always, even to the end of the world.”
The blessings of chastisement are many and varied. I am sure that when we get to Heaven the Lord will reveal to us things about our lives spent here on Earth that will astound us, particularly concerning this subject. Hebrews 12:10 tells us of some of the benefits, “For our Earthly fathers verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but He for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness.” This explains that the Lord chastises His children into line so that we may be partakers of His holiness. This being done allows His personality to be dominate and His character to guide us. The Lord said in St. John 15:1-2, “I am the vine and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch that beareth not fruit He taketh away, and every branch that bears fruit He purges that it may bring forth more fruit.” So then in order for us to bear more fruit, the Lord must “purge” the limbs i.e. us. This is the chastisement process. Note that it is the Father doing the purging not anything of man. Meaning, we don’t chastise anyone. The type of fruit that will grow is recorded in Hebrews 12:11, “Now no chastising for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous; nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” The word “yieldeth” means to produce or give back. This is speaking of the fruit of the Spirit recorded in Galatians 5:22-23, “… love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance; against such there is no law.” Notice, the word fruit is in the singular meaning these are to grow as one fruit growing concurrently, not erratically.