Why Would a Good Father Punish His Children?
May 1, 2018
For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth (Hebrews 12:6).
For years I struggled with the idea of God's chastening in my life. Especially the idea of God chastening me without me knowing why. I would never punish my own children without first making sure they understand why. And yet I had to be honest, in many of the difficult things I've faced in my life, I have not had a clear reason for them. Is there a difference between trials and chastening? How can I know the difference? You cannot love and trust a God who seems to delight in hurting you. And yet scriptures are very clear on the value and need for God's chastening in our lives. This is by no means conclusive, but here are a few thoughts that have helped clear things up for me.
First of all, I believe the Word is clear, there is a chastening in the form of sowing and reaping (Galatians 6:7-9). And there's the chastening that comes from straying from God's will (Psalm 119:67). In both of these I believe God will make it clear why we are being chastened if we want to know. And I also believe God has no delight in chastening of this nature. Rather, His delight is in showing mercy and blessing, and lifting the chastening as soon as He sees we've learned what He's trying to teach us. He's a good Father.
One of the meanings for the word chastening is "discipline; training and education of children." So much of the difficult times we go through are intended to teach us things. It's here that we receive the revelation of Jesus and the completion we have in Him. I believe this is an endless process. As we see the immensity of the value of the revelation of our completion in Christ, it becomes easier to suffer the pain and the loss.(Philippians 3:7-8).
Then we have what is described in 2 Corinthians 4:12. The chastening that ministers poverty, weakness and death. The only way the power of Christ can work through us is by a continual weakening and death (letting go) of our natural strength. This is an endless process and extremely important. It makes us "poor in spirit" – weak and dependent on God alone. It keeps us pliable and teachable. It can only be endured by faith...without faith it will embitter and destroy a person. But all of the godly people we've appreciated the most, have gone, and are going through this continual process. During the time the tabernacle was being built, man had already learned how to pour hot metals into forms in order to make their desired objects. However, all the gold objects to be used in God's service were to be made of "beaten gold." This means every piece was made from a lump of gold and beaten into something useful and beautiful, one blow at a time. Gold is very malleable. This such a beautiful and prophetic picture of God's way with us in the New Covenant.
I believe by far the majority of our chastening is not about things we've done wrong, but about the "earthen vessel" that surrounds the treasure we are carrying (2 Corinthians 4:7). God is a wonderful Father! And we can be completely convinced that He will make all things work out for our benefit if we love Him (Romans 8:28).
Recently I was telling God, "Lord it seems so much of my life You've had to humiliate me. I really want you to take the reproaches (disgraces, slander) out of my life, and be able to bless me with favor." Just that quick, God spoke to my heart, "Would you rather be proud?" I bowed my head and with tears I told Him, "No Lord, I would rather be humiliated and disgraced for the rest of my life than to be proud." Later, I saw the apostle Paul said he takes pleasure in reproaches (2 Corinthians 12:10). Be encouraged with the cup God has given you to drink. He is your Father and will work out all things for your benefit if you keep on trusting and loving Him. Hallelujah!
— Dale Schmuckercomments powered by Disqus« Back to Articles