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Monday, November 23, 2009

Endure Chastening

Note: Be looking for new thoughts on praise and suffering as we work our way through Psalms 101-125 til about Christmas. This week will focus on giving thanks.

"I like to see the Beauty in everything,
the blessings disguised in conflicts and struggles,
and because of that, life kisses me often."
~ Maura Casey

Endure Chastening


Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his loving kindness endures forever...
Remember me, LORD,
with the favor that you show to your people.
Visit me with your yeshu'ah [salvation],
that I may see the prosperity of your chosen.
~ Psalms 106:1,4-5 (HNV)
"For whom the Lord loves He chastens,
And scourges every son whom He receives."
If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons ... But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons... 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.
~ Hebrews 12:6-8,11

How does a good parent demonstrate love?

I sometimes run across a commentary which captures something as I wish I had already written. Consider the words of Albert Barnes (1798-1870) on this passage from Hebrews:

It is a universal rule that God sends trials on those whom he truly loves... If he did not, he would let us go on without any attention, and leave us to pursue a course of sin that would involve us in ruin. To restrain and govern a child; to correct him when he errs, shows that there is a parental solicitude for him, and that he is not an outcast. And as there is in the life of every child of God something that deserves correction, it happens that it is universally true that 'whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth.'

We are assured that the Lord is good. He loves His children, and shows favor to those who are His. His favor includes chastening, because His chastening is intended for our prosperity.

His chastening is love as surely as is His kiss.

[Additional note of interest on Psalm 106:4, from the Hebrew Names Version: the word for salvation here is the Hebrew yeshu'ah—also the Hebrew name of Jesus.]

Father in Heaven, You are all goodness and loving kindness. You show us grace and mercy in abundance. Please enable us to understand Your chastening, and to give you thanks for it as Your kiss upon us.

Contrasting points-of-view, questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
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  1. I like Maura's quote above. We need to distinguish chastening from testing. If we go through chastening then our respond must me repentance, if we go through testing our response must be perseverance.

  2. I am blessed by His gentle kisses of love upon my life.

  3. ATTENTION READERS! Natasa makes an important point. (And I've made a glaring oversight.)

    The conflicts and struggles of which Maura spoke are certainly not always chastening, nor are our sufferings.

    The words of Albert Barnes above say, "And as there is in the life of every child of God something that deserves correction." While God uses ALL struggles to test and make us more pure for Him, they are not necessarily chastening.

    Stay with me, Natasa. You're keeping me sharp. I'm very grateful that you help me avoid having these words be misconstrued.

  4. Yeah, I was going to say the same thing -- are you sure that God "sends" trials? This is life, and we are subject to the evils and trials of the world. God has redeemed us, and that is our promise and our hope. Through him, we can endure trials with faith and grow in character. What other choice would we have?

  5. Denise, I smile to think that His kisses are always gentle, no matter the sting of adversity, because of the power the Lord has.

  6. Brad, Jesus said in this world we would have tribulation/trials. I guess I accept them without spending a long time considering if the Lord's sent or allowed them. (If I find myself challenged by a situation that's within my control, I do examine how I might be causing my own struggles.) I trust that no matter the cause of my situation, God intends to work it for good. I can still accept whatever He allows as a kiss from my Father.

    I'll be giving some thought to this—how to discern the difference, how it affects my response.


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