“For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “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, And scourges every son whom He receives.””
Hebrews 12:3-6 NKJV
I sat yesterday watching a news story about a young man fighting for his life in the hospital after being shot in the head. A reporter was interviewing a resident across the street from the scene of the shooting. She seemed troubled by the numerous shootings of young black men, by young black men that seem to be the rule these days. As I listened to her, I looked up at my parents wedding picture that sits atop my television stand. I thought of my daddy, I thought of his chastening of me in my early years and how it had a decisive role in making me the man I am today.
I am saddened that many young black men do not know the chastening of a father who loves them, or known the correction and the peace one has having received that chastening. I don’t know what my life would be like had I not had my dad. He was my authority, my guide, my faithful father. Looking back, I know that he was the reflection of my Heavenly Father.
Because of him, I am able to receive the authority and correction from God in my life, and endure the chastening that He, God, brings. My earthly dad did not go out and punish other people’s kids, he only chastened me. I was his own. Likewise, God does not chasten the wicked, and sometimes it is frustrating to see people who are wicked seemingly getting away with evil, as we seem to be chastened when we do wrong.
The chastening of God in my life has been for my good. I am deeper and stronger in my faith as a result. I am a more effective ambassador for Christ. Those in the world will receive recompence for their wickedness, and it will be without remedy. Judgement is coming to the world. The signs are all around us. It is getting increasingly hard to ignore.
Believers, if you are in a time of chastening, know that it is not a random thing, and your suffering will reap a harvest of good fruit, if not here, in eternity to come. Our lives are not about this present time, but about the time to come. We are but a vapor, passing into nothingness. What we do in the name of Jesus will last for all eternity.
God has taken me to the woodshed much in my life. I know that many of the things I endure, are the result of my own labor. I also know that the chastening has increased my fruitfulness in Christ. I am reminded in the midst of it, that I am God’s son, joint heir with the King of Glory, adopted in the beloved.
Rejoice in the trials, know that Jesus also endured and was victorious. By His blood and sufferings, we have forgiveness of sins, and newness of life. Remember that good dads chasten their children because they love them.
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”
James 1:2-4 NKJV
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