The Bible says that God’s discipline stems from love and its purpose is for our own good.
Look at Proverbs 3:11 and 12, Listen to:
Prov 3:11, 12
11 My son, do not reject the discipline of the LORD Or loathe His reproof,
12 For whom the LORD loves He reproves, Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.
Why? “Those whom the LORD loves he disciplines.” Just as a father disciplines the son he delights in. That’s an Old Testament promise made hundreds of years before the coming of Jesus, but you know it’s basically repeated in the New Testament.
Hebrews 12 verses 4-13
4* ¶ You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin;
5* and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, “MY SON, DO NOT REGARD LIGHTLY THE DISCIPLINE OF THE LORD, NOR FAINT WHEN YOU ARE REPROVED BY HIM;
6* FOR THOSE WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE DISCIPLINES, AND HE SCOURGES EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES.”
7* It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?
8* But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.
9* Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live?
10* For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness.
11* All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.
12* Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble,
13* and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.
The purpose of a father’s discipline for his children is to guide those children in the right way. The purpose of the heavenly Father’s discipline for his children is to guide each one of us in the right way. But in both cases the discipline is intended for our good.
God’s discipline stems from love and its purpose is for our own good.
Here’s another proverb for your consideration:
12:1 ¶ Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, But he who hates reproof is stupid.
To ignore God’s discipline is to insure one’s downfall.
Notice these Proverbs:
18 ¶ Poverty and shame will come to him who neglects discipline, But he who regards reproof will be honored.
10 ¶ Grievous punishment is for him who forsakes the way; He who hates reproof will die.
32 ¶ He who neglects discipline despises himself, But he who listens to reproof acquires understanding.
Did you see those? If you ignore God’s disciple there will be consequences.
How does God discipline his children? How does he do that in our lives?
The primary purpose of God’s discipline again is to right our course. And so when God disciplines us, it is almost always associated with sin in our hearts and lives.
Remember King David (2 Samuel 12).
If you’re materialistic, and some are, God may come and take things away from you.
If you are full of pride, you may be humbled.
If you are a liar, God may see to it in his providential care that you’re caught in that lie.
A couple of words of caution:
God does not discipline each and every sin in our life. Now God knows every sin we commit and there is a consequence for every sin we commit. Sometimes it’s a major consequence, sometimes it’s minor. There is also free forgiveness waiting for us for every sin if we turn to the Lord. But, there’s no evidence that God sends a visible, external punishment down from heaven for every sin. To the contrary, 2 Pet 3:9 tells us that God is patient.
2 Pet 3:9
9* ¶ The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
He is waiting for people to come to repentance. He’s not trying to punish each and every sin.
3* Jesus answered, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him.
Be very careful about discerning God’s discipline.
Sometimes our hardships do come as a result of God’s discipline, when we have gone astray. And then there are hardships that just happen.
Then, how do you know? When God disciplines you or me, it is usually as a result of a sin manifested in your life and God is trying to drive that sin away from you.
Most of the time you can relate it to something you have done, if you are honest with yourself. If you honestly have not wandered away from God, it may be coming from another source.
But whatever the cause, if you turn to God, you will gain strength. 2 cor. 12:10 is so important to remember. Turn to God in Faith.