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TRUST JESUS TODAY
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Each of our four children are a delightful gift of God. However, I have one son who has proven himself again and again to be just what I need to show me my utter dependence upon God’s grace.
Let me introduce you to Joel. He is ten tears old, with blond hair and great blue eyes that sparkle forth mischief. Of course, it’s not only his eyes that pour forth mischief! It flows out from him in a continual, tireless stream, while I, in desperation seek to stop the mighty current before time takes its toll, and the teachable moments are forever lost.
Now before you get the wrong impression about Joel, I really must tell you about the one redeeming factor in his life.
One day, when Joel was around three years old, he was happily playing with his little red fire-engine, when suddenly he abruptly halted his intense moment of play, and looked up at me with with those great, sparkling eyes of his. In his childish wonder, he declared,
“Mommy, I’m so happy…Jesus is in my heart!”
At first I wondered how a three year old could say such a thing, and I even reasoned that perhaps he had heard that phrase somewhere, and was simply repeating it to me.
However, as time went on, I began to see the evidence that Jesus was indeed living in his heart.
To be sure, the mischief did not stop. Yet Joel began to display a tender, teachable spirit as he responded to my discipline and correction.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve summoned Joel to the bathroom (our version of ‘behind the woodshed’) and, after a few minutes of teaching from God’s word, he would humbly offer himself up for the necessary chastisement. You see, he knew this was necessary; he understood that God had appointed the rod of correction to drive foolishness from the hearts of children. (Proverbs 22:15), and he was willing to endure whatever was required to forsake his foolishness, and follow the path of wisdom. Joel’s one desire was and still is to follow God’s way. He will endure whatever rebuke it takes—oh, how I admire his humble spirit!
My precious Joel has taught me ever so much about how to endure the chastening rebuke of my Heavenly Father.
The Bible tells us that every one of God’s children will endure times of chastening. “For whom the Lord loves, he chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.” Hebrews 12: 6 (NKJV)
There was a time not too long ago when I had to endure His rebuke. It was my will against His. Oh, how I resisted and fought His will! As a spoiled child, I demanded that He give me what I requested of Him. I thought my way was best, and I wished to live my life according to my own plans.
The sovereign good pleasure of God became a scourge to me. Again and again, it slammed against me in firm, painful blows. I found the will of God to be so truly unbendable—a rod of correction without any flex to it. How it stung me!
I don’t wish to tell how long it took me to finally yield my will to His, but the time eventually did come when I recognized my haughty spirit, and surrendered myself entirely to His correction.
My prayer became, “Lord, crush me! Break me! Beat me if you will! I accept your scourges…I know they are necessary. Do whatever it takes…only, make me pure, and purge away my dross!”
Dear one, I wish to tell you about the security I have found in the tender discipline of my Heavenly Father.
If you are a child of God, then you too, have experienced his rebuke. I wish to hold out to anyone who is going through the pain of Divine chastisement, the immense comfort and hope in His discipline.
Hebrews 12:7 says, “If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there, whom a father does not chasten?
Chastening is a mark that you are a legitimate child of God. Only a loving father would pour forth the time and effort it takes to lead his child in the right path.
It is through my time of chastening that I began to wonder at the amount of effort my Father in heaven was pouring into my life. Why was He spending all this time on me, while all I did was resist Him? Surely, He must love me very much!
Another thing I’ve learned about the chastening of God is that it has a purpose. It is not a senseless, unproductive pouring forth of anger. His goal is not to ‘teach that miserable wretch a lesson!’ Rather, God’s discipline offers us hope in the midst of our hopelessness.
It says in Hebrews 12: 11, “Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”
God’s desire is train holiness into the lives of His children. His goal is to see His beauty reflected in us. To work that perfect holiness in our lives, it is necessary for our will and His to become one.
He has a plan for your life and for my life, and only when we are entirely surrendered to His will, can we discover what He has in store for us. We are His workmanship, and He wishes to display His work in our lives so that His glory may shine forth in us. However, for those peaceable fruits of righteousness to develop, we must submit to His correction.
No discipline—no fruit of righteousness.
As we keep these verses in Hebrews in view, let’s humbly accept His admonishment, knowing that good things will happen when we yield ourselves entirely to Him.
©2006, Lisa Pennings
note: this is the second article from a series of ten which I promised in my article, “Ten Things God Has Taught Me That I Want to Tell The World About”
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