The Believer’s Chastening
Believer in Christ, let us keep in mind that when we are chastened of the Lord, that it is not for the punishment of our sins. The chastening hand of God is for our correction so that we should repent and forsake our sins (Jer.31:18-20). The scourging of the Father is meant to loose our grip from the things of this world, and cause us to set our affection on Christ and those things that are above (Col.3:2). Our chastisement is used of God to show us the vanity of our self-righteousness and the fleeting pleasures of this world. The scriptures warn us that when we forget the God of our salvation that all our “pleasant plants and foreign seeds shall be a harvest of grief and sorrow.” (Isaiah 17:10-11)
Truly our sins, our flesh, and our attachments to this world are the cause of our Father’s chastening hand upon us. This will certainly cause us much pain and tears. But then let us look to Jesus Christ our Savior. Let us by faith lay hold upon Him, for by His one offering He has obtained for us eternal redemption (Hebrews 9:12). Our Lord Jesus was stricken smitten and afflicted of God for ALL our sins (Isa.53: 4-5;10-12). He was “made sin for us that we should be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor.5:21). Therefore, God being Just and Holy, and having punished our sins in Christ cannot and will not ever punish us for our sins. As the old hymn writer once said: “twice payment God cannot demand, once at my bleeding surety’s hand, and then again at mine” (Isa. 40:2).
Are you then chastened of God? Weep for thy sin! Lament for the coldness of thy heart and return unto the Lord (Hos.6:1). Confess thy sin and He is faithful and just to forgive thy sin (1 John 1:9). And here is the ground of thy plea: Christ hath once died and purged our sins (Hebrews 1:3: 9:12). Rejoice, believer! Only the living soul can feel the chastening hand of the Father, and only the Sons of God flee by faith to Christ alone!
– Fred Evans