Lamentations 3:27-33 “It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is young. 28 Let him sit alone in silence, for the Lord has laid it on him. 29 Let him bury his face in the dust– there may yet be hope. 30 Let him offer his cheek to one who would strike him, and let him be filled with disgrace. 31 For men are not cast off by the Lord forever.32 Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. 33 For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men.”
As I read these verses I was reminded in my spirit of the times when I knew I was wrong and had sinned, yet when the discipline came I grumbled and was angry. After all, I wanted grace and no consequences to my actions. Isn’t that just like us, to want our own way and feel like we got away with it? But God who is just in his loving us knows when we need to receive some discipline. It does not come because he has cast us away for good and depending on what he sees we need is how severe the discipline will be. Should whining and complaining be a part of our response?
No, we need to repent of our actions, shut up, listen up, sit still and learn.
We also need to be patient as the Lord works out exactly what he sees we need. We need to reflect on what got us into the sin, to begin with. God knows we are not perfect and that there will be times we slip into a sin, yet the Holy Spirit draws us quickly back, and other times when we know we shouldn’t, but we do anyway and we hope that we are bathed in grace and cross our fingers that it will be a light reprimand.
We can be confident that the discipline we go through is filtered through loving hands. Just enough to teach us both short term and long term lessons. We need a teachable spirit. We need to lean in and listen to what God has to say. We need to accept whatever he sends and be thankful for the love that motivates him to teach us and not remove us.
Mark 4:25 “For whoever has a (teachable heart), to him more (understanding) will be given; and whoever does not have ( a yearning for the truth), even what he has will be taken away from him.”
When we refuse to listen to instruction, then we are robbing ourselves of the understanding we had to begin with. It is taken from us. We should always desire to be corrected and to lean in and learn the hard lessons of what we did, what God thinks about it and how NOT to do it again.
God knows us better than we know ourselves and he sees deep inside us to what motivates our action and our propensity to sin; it is that root he wants to cut. Sometimes it is with a very sharp blade and a swift chop, and other times it is with a gentle cutting with parts of us falling a little at a time. I have received both in my lifetime and let me just say that the more I know about the Lord and his desires for me and the more I die to self the easier it is to receive the loving correction that God sends.
I do not want a God who turns his eyes away and pretends not to see, what benefit is that to me? Just like we discipline our children and teach them through these disciplines how to do better, and grow into responsible, right living adults, our Lord and Saviour desire that his children are a good reflection of Him. He paid a steep price for my past, present and future sins, don’t you think?
Sometimes we are reprimanded by others, possible leaders in our church or fellow Christians. They see us heading down the wrong path and with a right heart desire to steer us away from where and what we are going to. We need to listen to their correction, especially if given in the right biblical way and even lean in to receive another slap so to speak. Jesus went before his accusers, granted he was innocent of everything, spotless, but he modeled for us our right response. Too often we get too easily offended and do not take to heart the correction of fellow believers. We think we know best and do not realize that there are times when God speaks through his people, our friends, and family.
I think if you are even slightly spiritual and have discernment you will know when correction comes from a sincere desire to see you made right with the Lord and one where the person is trying to make themselves look better and shame you for not measuring up. It happens!
So, in conclusion, keep your heart tender toward the Lord, when he sends correction, dig deep inside to see what needs to be changed, repent and ask him to fill you fresh and new and help you wait out the discipline, learn from your mistake and even be thankful that he chooses to discipline you in the first place. God is good, he wants all of you and he wants you to be the best you for his kingdom that you can be. Remember from my last post, He Delights in You!!! He really does and so his love moves him to discipline and chastises us. Thank you, Lord! Let me always be teachable, always be humble and always learn from my mistakes so that I might help a fellow believer in their time of need. He will not even waste your discipline if you lean in and fully surrender your right to be offended.
As always here are a few scriptures to think on:
Jeremiah 31:19 “Surely after that I was turned, I repented; and after that, I was instructed, I smote upon (my) thigh: I was ashamed, yea, even confounded, because I did bear the reproach of my youth.”
Proverbs 3:11 “My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction.”
Psalms 107:31 ” Oh that men would Praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to his children.”
Proverbs 3:12 “For whom the Lord loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delights.”
Hebrews 12:6 “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.”
Psalm 7:28 “Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses.”
1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”