“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).
No one likes chastening. But chastening is very much essential for reforming a man. The chastening of God may appear to cause distress but you should not forget that it would turn into a blessing at a later date.
You chasten your children only for their betterment. That chastening clears the foolishness from them; makes them fearfully obey their parents; reforms them as disciplined children.
When it is children, you can chasten them with a cane. What to do with the elders? The government has some penalties, punishments and prisons for this purpose. At the same time, there are plenty of sins within the heart and some more secret sins which go unnoticed by the authorities. What is the way to correct a believer from those sins? The Scripture says, “For whom the Lord loves He chastens and scourges every son whom He receives” (Hebrews 12:6).
There was a college professor. During his days, there would be examinations in the college every week. All those who fail in the examination would have to go and stand in front of his room in the afternoon. He would call them one by one into his room and scold them with harsh words. Anyone who undergoes this terrible experience would study with utmost care and ensure that they never face such situation.
If any student fails in the examination again, the professor would use still harsher words. If there is no change in a student despite these treatments, he would stop speaking to them but begin to smile. The meaning for the smile is that there is no improvement in that particular student and there is no use trying further in improving him. He will also not allow the student to write the final governmental examinations.
But, do not forget that God has placed a lot of love over you, His son, even while chastening. Only because of that love, He sends chastening, suffering and trouble to your life and transforms you (Hebrews 12:6-9).
Think of the words “His son.” Just because He treats you as His son, He corrects you through chastening. He trains you to walk in the path of holiness. If you learn this early, it will carry you to the Eternal Kingdom. Dear children of God, do not despise the chastening of the Lord.
To meditate: “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all” (Psalms 34:19).