Friday, February 20, 2009

Afflictions Do Not Come Alone

My son, do not reject the discipline of the Lord or loathe His reproof, for whom the Lord loves He reproves, even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights. Proverbs 3:11-12

One of the ways God shows His love for us is through discipline. Proverbs 3 tells us that those whom the Lord loves, He disciplines. The writer to the Hebrews quotes this passage in Proverbs 3 when he reminds them that it is for discipline that they endure.

You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin; 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;
FOR THOSE WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE DISCIPLINES,
AND HE SCOURGES EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES."
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? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.
Hebrews 12:4-8

Just as our earthly parents disciplined us, so too does our Heavenly Father. Discipline comes out of love, and is for our good. God disciplines us in order that we may share His holiness. Certainly, that is worth being disciplined for! Although it is not pleasant when we are in the midst of it, its result is the peaceful fruit of righteousness.

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? 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. 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.
Hebrews 12:9-11

As John Wesley so eloquently says in this hymn, we need not faint beneath God’s kind rebuke, for He is still our friend. He disciplines us because He loves us.

Afflictions Do Not Come Alone
Words by John Wesley

Afflictions do not come alone,
A voice attends the rod;
By both He to His saints is known,
A Father and a God!

Let not My children slight the stroke
I for chastisement send;
Nor faint beneath My kind rebuke,
For still I am their Friend.

The wicked I perhaps may leave
Awhile, and not reprove;
But all the children I receive
I scourge, because I love.

If therefore you were left without
This needful discipline;
You might, with cause, admit a doubt,
If you, indeed, were Mine.

Shall earthly parents then expect
Their children to submit?
And wilt not you, when I correct,
Be humbled at My feet?

To please themselves they oft chastise,
And put their sons to pain;
But you are precious in My eyes,
And shall not smart in vain.

I see your hearts, at present, filled
With grief, and deep distress;
But soon these bitter seeds shall yield
The fruits of righteousness.

Break through the clouds, dear Lord, and shine!
Let us perceive Thee nigh!
And to each mourning child of Thine
These gracious words apply.

1 comment:

David Kjos said...

This hymn was actually written by John Newton, and first published in Olney Hymns.