Summary: It is very easy to grieve the Spirit of God; we do it by despising the chastening of the Lord, or by becoming discouraged when He rebukes us.
Do you let God love you? Then you’ll love His chastenings
Heb 12:5-10 And have you quite forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you, His child? "My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the LORD loves He chastens”…for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. TLB and NKJV
There is so much confusion over this– now what exactly does “chastening” mean?
The word “chastening” is translated from the Greek word Paideia (pronounced pahee-di-ah) which according to Strong's concordance means tutorage, education or training and by implication correction. This same Greek word is translated “instruction” in the following well known scripture:
2 Tim 3:16-17 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for… instruction (paideia) in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
And, according to this passage, what does God use to “instruct” or to “chasten” us? He uses “scripture”. He trains us, He teaches us and He corrects us with His word – if we’ll let Him, and receive with our hearts His words – but if we refuse:
Prov 10:17 He who heeds instruction and correction is not only himself in the way of life but also is a way of life for others. And he who neglects or refuses reproof not only himself goes astray but also causes to err and is a path toward ruin for others. AMP
When we reject instruction we go astray from God, our protector, and immediately enter the domain of our adversary, the devil, whose intent is always to afflict us with harm, since he comes only to steal, and to kill and to destroy (John 10:10) :
Isa 14:9 The denizens of hell crowd to meet you as you enter their domainTLB
Pro 13:18 Poverty and shame come to him who refuses instruction… AMP
From the devotional “My Utmost for His Highest” by Oswald Chambers:
CHASTENING August 14, 2009
My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him — Hebrews 12:5
It is very easy to grieve the Spirit of God; we do it by despising the chastening of the Lord, or by becoming discouraged when He rebukes us. If our experience of sanctification (dying, in Christ, to sin and being made holy) is shallow, we tend to mistake the shadow (of Satan who approaches when we consider going astray) for the reality of God (warning us). And when the Spirit of God gives us a sense of warning or restraint, mistakenly we may say: "Oh, that must be from the devil."
Never quench the Spirit (1 Thess. 5:19) and do not despise Him when He says to you, in effect, "Don’t be blind on this point anymore — you are not as far along spiritually as you thought you were. Until now I have not been able to reveal this to you, but I’m revealing it to you right now." When the Lord chastens you like that, let Him have His way with you. Allow Him to relate you rightly to God.
"Nor lose heart and be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him." We begin to pout, become irritated with God, and then say, "Oh well, I can’t help it. I prayed and things didn’t turn out right, so I’m simply going to give it all up." Just think what would happen if we acted like this in any other area of our lives!
Am I fully prepared to allow God to grip me by His power and do a work in me that is truly worthy of Himself? Sanctification is not my idea of what I want God to do for me — sanctification is God’s idea of what He wants to do for me. But He has to get me into the state of mind and spirit where I will allow Him to sanctify me completely (dead to me, alive to God, holy) whatever the cost (1 Thess. 5:23-24).
Someone may say “OK, I’ll take instruction directly from God – but not from you”
As we have all discovered, ultimately to our great blessing, that when we can’t hear directly from God – because either we don’t yet know how or because we’re resisting Him - He uses another trusted believer to speak His words to us. In fact He places some within the body of Christ with the specific ministry of teaching or instructing others (Eph. 4:11). Also when we go astray from Him and oppose our own new nature, He anoints other believes to “instruct us…so that we may recover ourselves out of the snare of the devil” (2 Tim. 2:25-26). Since its God who is calling the shots here, if we resist God’s messenger, then we are simply further resisting God. Whereas we could be thankful for a faithful messenger: