Those the Father loves, He also disciplines. This is our central message for today and always.
“In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood” (verse 4). We ALL face struggles with sin. And ALL God’s sons (and daughters) are disciplined. His discipline is always done in love and for our good. His discipline results in eternal life not death. Physical death might be the end result here on earth but that is NOT the end of your story.
God’s “discipline” doesn’t usually result in death of the body. For the prophets of old and the martyrs death was the end result of their walk with God but was NOT part of His discipline. Their deaths were a result of them refusing to deny God and man not allowing that decision. Men put them to death by Satan’s urging. God didn’t. What God gave them on the other side of that death though was worth it ALL.
I don’t believe that God disciplines us by sending diseases onto us either. Even with Job, God did not afflict him, Satan did. God removed His protective covering from Job and allowed Satan to test him. We live in a world controlled by Satan and disease is part of it. But, yes, we can learn lessons while going through physical illnesses.
From skimming through Job again I believe it was pride that brought on the need for testing in Job’s life. I don’t know this for sure, but it is something we will have to take up with God when we see Him face to face. But what we do see is that Job learned a lesson that he wouldn’t have learned any other way. I believe he learned that he was trying to make God fit his ideals instead of the other way around. God was bigger than Job’s “God mold.” He thought he could tell God how to behave. He found out different!
In all God’s discipline of us, we know that He is in control and His plans are to bring us to a place we could not attain apart from walking through what He sets before us. He will NOT let us be destroyed by His discipline. But the longer we resist the tougher it becomes. Imagine if Job would have got the message earlier on. What could he have skipped out on? Sometimes though it takes the full measure for us to REALLY get it. Don’t grow weary! God only disciplines those He loves!
“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by Him. For the Lord discipline the one He loves, and chastises every son whom He receives” (verses 5b-6). “If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons” (verse 8).
Father God, I welcome Your discipline. I won’t claim to enjoy it but I welcome it anyway. I know there are things in my life that can only be addressed with a “good spanking.” Help me learn my lessons early on and not require more extreme measures. Thank You for holding me up even in the middle of my lessons.
Today my body is dragging. Is this a spiritual issue, an emotional one or a physical one? Help me Lord Jesus to find the lesson at the end of this and deal with it, whatever the source. Thank You for sustaining me and keeping me from hurting my husband through my weakness. Please continue to protect him while I continue moving through what is set before me. Give me wisdom on how to address this problem too Lord. Thank You that I can trust You with ALL my needs.