‘My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord’ (Hebrews 12:6)
The Lord speaks to us as children; He speaks in reference to our afflictions: they are chastisements; they are sent in love; when we are chastened we are judged of the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.
So let us not faint under them, and let us not despise them. We do so when we think there is no occasion for them, and that we could do as well, or better without them. When we do not seek to ascertain the cause why they are sent, or to learn the lessons they are intended to teach. When we do not acknowledge the Lord’s right to chasten, His love in doing it, and His wisdom in the time, nature, and duration of the trial.
When we do not seek grace to submit cheerfully, or at least silently; and to glorify God in it, and afterwards. When we do not seek to be improved in our knowledge, sanctity, and spiritual vigour by it. When with a carnal, flesh-pleasing view, we seek to be delivered from it. Dear friends, let us beware of despising divine chastisement in any of these ways; but let us glorify God in the day of visitation.
Father, if Thou must reprove
For all that I have done,
Not in anger, but in love,
Chastise Thy wayward son:
Correct with kind severity,
And bring me home to Thee.
THE DAILY REMEMBRANCER by James Smith (1802-1862)
‘APRIL. I have lately felt my spirit much softened, and have felt more like what I think a Christian should feel. My mind has been submissive, and I feel it easy to forgive a foe; though one, whom I had befriended, was trying all he could to injure me. While he was publicly speaking against me, I was privately praying for him’.