My child, dont reject the LORDs discipline, and dont be upset when he corrects you. For the LORD corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights. Proverbs 3:1112 NLT
LIFE COMES with both prosperity and adversity. We naturally want to honor the Lord in prosperity (Prov 3:910). We rejoice when the bank account has enough in it, when we have all the food we need, when the house doesnt have some major problem that needs fixed, and when our health is good. Yet when trouble comes our natural tendency is to pull away, to question, or even to resent God for allowing this trouble to happen. If we can honor God in prosperity, can we also honor him in adversity?
How many of us have been disciplined by God? How many of us have had to discipline a child (our own or others)? Why do we do this? Discipline in its truest form comes from love. It comes from a desire to see a child grow up healthy, wise, and safe. Discipline is an act of protection. Discipline is an act of love. God does not take joy in the adversity and suffering of his people. He does not force trouble upon us. No father forces a child to do something harmful or dangerous just to teach them a lesson, but a good father will use the wrongdoing of a child to instruct and correct. Gods love for us doesnt ignore the troubles we face in life. Gods love speaks into our troubles to lead us toward a better and more complete relationship with God. May we humbly accept the discipline of God as an act of love as we seek to follow him.
Dear God, help us to accept all that your love brings into our lives. Help us to trust you in the midst of trouble. Guide us through the hardships of life into a more complete relationship with you. In Jesus name, Amen.
-John Mattern, Senior Pastor, First Church of God, Greensburg, Indiana