I have just arrived back from the dentist with a mouthful of anesthetic and am therefore trying not to dribble on my keyboard! Although a morning at the dentist is not my favourite pastime, I have moved on from seeing them as sadistic monsters seeking to exact unspeakable pain on unwitting patients.
The writer to the Hebrews encourages us by reminding us of the Proverb “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son” (12:5-6). There are of course things that we love about being adopted as children of God. We love the intimacy and should continue to marvel at the privilege. There are also things that we may resent; such as God’s discipline! However according to the passage if we were not disciplined then, we wouldn’t be ‘true sons and daughters at all’ (12:8).
Now please don’t read this and think that whenever you face a difficultly that God is punishing you for wrong. Why? Because Jesus willingly received the punishment that was due to us in order that we could receive God’s mercy. Therefore, just like my dentist, any act of discomfort we receive at the hands of our Father in Heaven is not an act of retribution but an expression of that mercy. Rejoice then, that God’s love isn’t only great enough to save us, but is active enough to change us.
God bless, Gareth (one of God’s works in progress)