To chasten is to refine or purify. In Hebrews 12 we read a great deal about God's chastisement upon us, sent so that we may be made holy. Literally in verse 10 we read about God chastising us so that we may be made partakers of His holiness.
Then in verse 11 we read, "Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them that are exercised thereby." Here we deal with an awesome truth. For holiness is extremely important, but so is righteousness. For, living a holy life, that is, a sinless life, is extremely important, because it reveals that we were made righteous by Christ and His cross. To be righteous means to be right with God, to be legally right. And we may not be made holy until we have been made to be righteous, that is, not guilty.
What we read is certainly true, namely, that chastisement never is enjoyable. Always it is grievous to the flesh. But what counts is not whether our flesh hurts, but rather whether we love God. Hell fire is prepared for those who do not love God. And unholiness means that we are guilty and deserve the agony of that lake of fire, called hell. Therefore, what counts is not whether our flesh hurts in chastisement; but whether we are going to suffer that woe of sin's everlasting punishment.
Receive that chastisement which God sends as a manifestation of His love toward you and not His hatred. Righteousness brings us peace; and holiness reveals to those who have it that God is bringing them peace and a blessed life. For it reveals that they have been made righteous by Christ and His cross.
Look then at the chastisement God sends you as the work of His love. And rejoice if you have that peaceable fruit of righteousness shown to you by God displayed in your striving for holiness.
Read: James 3
Through the Bible in One Year
Nehemiah 3:15-32 ; Nehemiah 4; Nehemiah 5:1-13
1 Corinthians 7:25-40
Quote for Reflection:
"The great art and power of faith consist in seeing that which is not seen and in not seeing that which is nonetheless felt.” ~ Martin Luther
- Date: 12-August