Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Joyful Chastening???

"Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful, nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it" (Hebrews 12:11).

Truly, chastening our children seems not to be joyful for them or for me. Of course, it is not pleasant for them (which is why it works so well ;-), and I clearly remember the dread I felt as a child as I anticipated my own discipline.

Often, it does not seem to be joyful for me as a parent, but I understand that every opportunity for training I see in my children is an opportunity to teach them the ways of the Lord and "the way he should go" (Proverbs 22:6). Now this should bring joy!

In Hebrews 12:11, we should take note of the result of Biblical chastening: "afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it."

We should expect the peaceable fruit of righteousness!

Now while in context this Scripture does teach us these spiritual applications, notice the primary intent of the passage:

"If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live" (Hebrews 12:7-9)?

We as Believers are chastened by God. Not only should we expect it and endure it, we should "much more readily be in subjection to the Father." Does that sound unreasonable and a might bit odd? (The Christian walk IS often the opposite of natural thinking. . . ) Notice the difference between our "human fathers" and our Heavenly Father in verse 10:

"For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness."

Our parents, just as we, can only discipline with the knowledge that we have and without the benefit of omniscience, unlike God, who can see the end result! He disciplines us with this finished product in mind. The trials and discipline we endure from the hand of the Lord have our good purpose in mind (Romans 8:28). He is fashioning us into the holy people He has called us to be!

Yet another reason to "count it all joy" (James 1:2)!

In the Heart of our Home,

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