“My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor detest His correction; For whom the Lord loves He corrects, Just as a father the son in whom he delights.”
Proverbs 3:11-12 NKJV
Before I became a Christian, I felt as if I was indestructible, as I could shake off any hurt, any illness, and keep going. There seemed to be an air of blessing around, as good things came to me. In my degenerate mind, I though it was due to my self professed virtue. I believed that I was a good person, as I had not done anything to violate the law. Or at least I hadn’t gotten caught.
I went about my life with little worry. At some point I began to follow Jesus, and then the bottom fell out of my world. Things that I got away with when I was an unbeliever, now came with penalties and consequences. The life of smooth sailing that I had enjoyed, was replaced by life on the choppy seas.
God had begun a work in me, gutting me from the inside out, going after those hidden places that I thought were hidden from Him. As the challenges mounted, I found myself confused and scrambling about, trying to deal the many issues. Finally, I began to realize that all these things were coming from the Lord. He had brought chastisement into my life, to bring about His ultimate goal: to make me one useful for His service.
The trials God had ordained for my life were not random, but very specific, as He was addressing areas where I had allowed sin to become the status quo. He began to address those areas that had become strongholds, and took them way. He also brought blessing, as my life began to change for the better in the absence of those sin areas in which I had so been ensnared.
“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
He has been perfecting me these many days, bringing maturity, that I more effectively serve Him. The perfect is not for my glory, or piety, but for my ability to represent the heart of Jesus. Everything that I have endured, has been brought in love, by my loving Creator. I have learned that it is a sign that I am His kid, His child.
Brothers and sisters, it is easy to think that doing evil is the way to go, as we look about us and we see the perceived blessing on those who are reprehensible, but appear to be doing well. Even the most godless appear to be prospering. For them, this time is the best it will ever be, as it is closest they will get Heaven.
In our chastisement, we have better promises, as this is as bad as it gets, and glory awaits. Let us rejoice in our suffering, knowing that we can trust the heart of Jesus, as He is fulfilling His Holy purpose in our lives.
We must also consider that we are living in a fallen world, and bad things happen to everyone, as it rains on the just and the unjust alike. Some of the things that have befallen me have been random, but I know that some of them have been ordained for God’s holy purpose.
I am thankful for the corrective hand of God, as it is a reminder that I am His. I would not like to imagine what my life would be like had I never come to know Him, and I was still lost ion my sin.
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