The Lord disciplines those He loves, and He punishes everyone He accepts as a son. Hebrews 12:6
When Martin Luther quoted this verse to console a friend who was ill, the friend countered: "Well, if that's the case, I wish He wouldn't love me so much."
Sometimes we feel that way. The love that lets us come down with crippling arthritis, virulent cancer, or painful angina seems a dubious love. But God assured us that He will make it all work out for good in the end. His love is at work.
Samuel Rutherford saw it this way: "When we come to the other side of the water, we will say, 'If God had done otherwise with me, I would never have come to this crown of glory.'"
These five biblical truths we must ever keep in mind: (1) God's chastenings are as much a part of His faithfulness as His blessings. (2) In God's plan cross-bearing and crown-wearing go together. (3) The love that chose us is also the love that chastens us. (4) Christ's love that purchased us purifies us. (5) The love that delivers us from death also disciplines us for life. Everything that God allows in the lives of His beloved and believing children is in keeping with His love for them.
PRAYER: O Holy Spirit, never let me waver from trusting that God loves me in Christ, no matter how hard His dealings with me. Amen.
(Taken from "Words of Promise," copyright 1996 (out of print), Concordia Publishing House. For information on other devotional materials, call 1-800-325-3040.)
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