Two definitions to understand for this post:
*Chasten – to correct by punishment or discipline.
*Discipline – to train by instruction and practice, especially to teach self control.
When we talk about chastening or how God chastens those He loves, we too often think of backsliders, or lost people that God “trips up.” Other definitions* of chasten include pain, suffering, punishment, people who lack faith and character. These ideas are not wrong, but they are only half of the story.
My wife and I were recently talking about God’s discipline, when we realized that one of the biggest times of chastening for us, came when we were walking in extreme faith and obedience. We were striving for holiness and righteousness. It made me question why God would punish us then? But you must realize that chastening/disciplining are not just for punishing bad behavior. Other definitions* I found included – refining, pruning, purifying. One definition* said – “training that corrects, molds, or perfects the mental faculties or moral character.” I believe that as Christians, we overlook the need to be trained/disciplined and taught self control.
We often believe that we have arrived or are on track and therefore exempt from God’s chastening, but it’s actually the PERFECT time for God to take us to the next level. You see, to be in a righteous position means you are exhibiting self control, you are maturing, producing fruit, you are obedient. We think that it would be the worst time to be chastened, but it’s actually the best.
If we respond rightly, we can go deeper, we can look higher, our faith is stronger and that is what it will take to be respondent to a loving, training, teaching Heavenly Father. When you feel, Christians, that you are being “punished” for doing nothing wrong, do not see it as punishment, see it as instruction. It’s God’s way of preparing you for something greater in your life. It will greatly change your perspective and you will be able to receive it better, and embrace it easier once you understand God’s ways.
God truly loves those He chastens, but we cannot run from it, rebel from it, or try to get out of it, when we are righteous. That will bring about sin (disobedience) and then we will truly need corrective chastening. We must realize that the only way to go deep in the things of God is to be chastened, sometimes severely. Psalm 118:18 states: “The Lord has chastened me severely, but He has not given me over to death.” I challenge myself, and you too, Christians, when we feel righteous, right on track, in the will of God, and moving forward: be aware. Be very prepared to embrace the chastening that God sees fit at the perfect time to develop a deeper relationship and walk with Him, in Jesus name, Amen.
And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children? He said, “My child, don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline, and don’t give up when He corrects you. For the Lord disciplines those He loves, and He punishes each one He accepts as His child.” As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as His own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by it’s father? If God doesn’t discipline you as He does all of His children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all. Hebrews 12:5-8 (NLT)
Blessed is the one whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty. Job 5:17 (NIV)
Blessed is the man whom You chasten, O Lord, and whom You teach out of your law. Psalm 94:12 (NASB)
So correct me, Lord, but please be gentle. Do not correct me in anger, for I would die. Jeremiah 10:24 (NLT)
Any branch in Me that does not bear fruit [that stops bearing] He cuts away (trims off, takes away); and He cleanses and repeatedly prunes every branch that continues to bear fruit, to make it bear more and richer and more excellent fruit. John 15:2 (AMP) (emphasis added)
*Definitions taken from Merriam Webster Online Dictionary
written and posted by Daniel Poggensee | 2016