From the Lord
From the Lord
The Billy Graham Christian Worker's Handbook
, (World Wide Publications, Minneapolis, MN, 1984), pp. 53-54
Often, a Christian will admit to some sin or disobedience which has resulted in God's chastening. At other times, a conversation will reveal problems and troubles that seem to indicate that God is dealing with the caller.
Chastening from the Lord is Scriptural:
"Blessed is the man you discipline, O Lord, the man you teach from your law; you grant him relief from days of trouble." (Psalm 94:12>, 13>, NIV)
"My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline AND DO NOT RESENT HIS REBUKE, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in." (Proverbs 3:11>, 12> NIV)
Billy Graham comments on the subject:
&ls;The Bible says, &ls;Whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth.' If life were all easy, wouldn't we become flabby? When a ship's carpenter needed timber to make a mast for a sailing vessel, he did not cut it in the valley, but up on the mountainside where the trees had been buffeted by the winds. These trees, he knew, were the strongest of all. Hardship is not our choice; but if we face it bravely, it can toughen the fiber of our souls.
"God does not discipline us to subdue us, but to condition us for a life of usefulness and blessedness. In His wisdom, He knows that an uncontrolled life is an unhappy life, so He puts reins on our wayward souls that they may be directed into the paths of righteousness."
Chastening is Desirable, Considering the Alternatives:
"So he gave them what they asked for, but sent a wasting disease upon them" (Psalm 106:15>, NIV).
"I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize ("Be a castaway," KJV) (I Corinthians 9:27>, NIV).
God Has Motives in Disciplining or Chastening:
He wants to lead us to repentance. "Yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us" (2 Corinthians 7:9>, NIV).
He wants to restore us to fellowship. "That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ" (I John 1:3>, KJV).
He wants to make us more faithful. "Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful" (I Corinthians 4:2>, NIV).
He wants to keep us humble. "To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness'" (2 Corinthians 12:7-9>, NIV).
He wants to teach us spiritual discernment. "But if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment. When we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world." (I Corinthians 11:31>, 32>, NIV).
He wants to prepare us for more effective service. "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord" (I Corinthians 15:58>, KJV).