Scripture: Hebrews 12:
4 In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5 And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as children? It says,
"My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
6 because the Lord disciplines those he loves,
and he chastens everyone he accepts as his child."
Observation: Becoming holy is a process that is not always pleasant, but there is a higher purpose for our chastisements.
Application: When I was a child and I heard the phrase from a parent “This is going to hurt me more than it does you.” which was always followed by a punishment (back then usually it was a spanking) I always thought that it was absurd and a laughable statement. How could the punishment that a person dealt out to a child hurt them more than the child? From the perspective of the young child that I was, it was a cruel statement that was actually meant to add insult to injury.
It took me becoming a father to understand the truth behind those words. I never enjoyed disciplining my children. I would do it when I had to, but in so doing I brought more suffering on myself than I did them. Any discipline that I gave them brought me terrible inner pain, and I often found myself giving in sooner than I said I would. I wanted them to learn from their mistakes, but I would want so bad to get past the punishment and back to our regular relationship that I think at times I have compromised the lesson I was trying to teach through the punishments.
I think this is more true with God than it could ever be with me. I think that when we are disciplined it hurts God to do it. I think He doesn’t like to see us in any kind of pain, and He doesn’t delight in our tears, but rather He hurts more than we do. We know that He has done far more for us in regards to dealing with our sin than we ever could. He cared enough about our right standing with Him that He sent Jesus to take our place on the cross. Jesus suffered more than we ever will for the sins that we commit, but we also need to learn, we need to understand that there are still consequences in this life for our actions. The lessons that we have to learn are sometimes painful, but God is not taking pleasure in watching us suffer because of some wrong we’ve done. God suffers with us, when we shed our tears, He is there, when we can’t find the words to pray, He understands.
If you feel like God is punishing you, look for a reason, strive to learn a lesson, and realize that God is not delighting in your pain. God is not happy about chastising you, He is there with you, suffering along side you and hoping you will understand and grow.
Forgive me when I fail you, strengthen my faith when I am weak, help me to see the lessons you are trying to teach me, and help me to follow the path you desire me to be on.