God’s faithfulness and steadfast love do not change… even when we are experiencing the Heavenly Father’s discipline!
What an encouraging and hope producing truth! But one we are apt to forget and dismiss in the pain and discomfort of discipline!
Judah, God’s people, had not kept covenant, they had played the spiritual harlot and rebelled against their Savior. God had allowed Babylon to ravage the nation, carry the brightest and best away as exiles, destroy Jerusalem and dismantle and sack the Temple. All that was left was a pile of smoking rubble! And Jeremiah weeps… That is the story behind the little book we call Lamentations in our Bibles. But embedded in chapter 3 is this wonderful affirmation of God’s love and faithfulness…
“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases! His mercies never come to an end! They are new every morning! Great is your faithfulness! ‘The LORD is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in Him.” The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD… For the Lord will not cast off forever! Though He cause grief, He will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love!” (From Lamentations 3:21–32 ESV)
At some time or other in our lives we will all experience the Lord’s discipline! … If we are His sons and daughters we will experience His discipline – Hebrews, in the Bible, declares it!
“Have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? ‘My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.’ It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? They disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:5–11 ESV)
Have I experienced it? Oh, yeah… I could tell you the stories! So what am I going to do… and what am I urging you to do? Confess your failures – your sin – and ask for forgiveness. Submit to the Heavenly Father, listen for His voice, learn from His discipline… And depend on the truth these passages declare – HE STILL LOVES YOU AND WANTS THE BEST FOR YOU!