Summary: Often God has to spank as part of His loving discipline. Heb. 12:6 “…whom the LORD loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives." There are at least 3 purposes to God’s tough love or chastening - instruction, correction, and prevention.

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God’s Tough Love

Job 5:17-18 “Behold, happy is the man whom God corrects; therefore do not despise the chastening of the Almighty. For He bruises, but He binds up; He wounds, but His hands make whole.

Have you ever thought that God was upset or angry with you? When we go through some devastating tragedy or your world seems to have been turned upside down, the temptation is to think that God doesn’t love us; that He might even hate us, and doesn't really care what happens to us. You might even ask yourself, “If God really loved me, why would He allow me to go through this horrid experience?” Nothing could be farther from the truth. God’s discipline is an act of love. Often God has to spank us or allow adversity in our lives as part of His loving discipline. Hebrews 12:6 “For whom the LORD loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives." The word chasten comes from a Greek word paideuo (ðáéäåõù). Vine’s dictionary says this word primarily denotes training of children. Synonymous with chastening is correction and discipline. There are at least three purposes for God’s tough love or chastening (1) instruction or education, (2) correction, and prevention.

I. God uses discipline to instruct us in the faith and as to what is right and what is wrong.

A. Instructive discipline is described as training that is intended to produce a specific character or pattern of behavior.

B. Romans 5:3-5 “...we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation works patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope makes not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”

C. James 1:2-4 “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith works patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”

D. Job is the poster child for instructive discipline. Through his trials, Job grew in his understanding of who this great, glorious, wise, almighty God is.

E. Job 42:1-6 “Then Job answered the LORD and said: "I know that You can do everything, and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You. You asked, 'Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?' Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. Listen, please, and let me speak; You said, 'I will question you, and you shall answer Me.' "I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You. Therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes."

F. God often has to use outside motivation to cause us to make right choices until we develop the internal motivation to make the right choices.

G. Deuteronomy 8:2-3 “And you shall remember that the LORD your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD.”

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