application of God’s word; He will exhort us by various means or persons. If this fails to get our attention, he will personally discipline and correct us. This can be a painful experience.
When God’s word is neglected, it is easily forgotten. The readers of Hebrews 12:5 had “forgotten the exhortation,” which led them to two negative consequences. Let’s learn from them.
First of all, the believers were to “cease from scorning,” which means having “little esteem for something, be[ing] careless about, or despis[ing].” They despised the providential suffering, seeing no benefit in it. They were “careless”—-that is, they did not care about or value whatever God’s purpose might be. They were spiritually indifferent.
Suffering can discourage one’s faith, provoke uncertainty, create doubts of God’s power, or lead to despair. What might appear as God’s neglect or abandonment might actually be His “discipline” (Gk. “instruction to children, chastening, or correction”). How can we determine if the situation is discipline from the Lord or attacks by Satan? We cannot! Because God controls our circumstances, everything is a learning experience.
We must treat our difficulties as lessons on how to grow in His wisdom and grace. We should examine our motives, our behavior, our decision making, the quality of our relationships, and our integrity in doing God’s will.
Second, believers are commanded to “stop giving up when He corrects you.” Giving up is a product of our modern concept of permissiveness and an antipunishment psychology. God takes disobedience seriously and punishes sin. Society says that such chastisement is “cruel and unusual punishment.”
In spite of our self–centered reaction to His correction, God never rejects us or ceases to love us. His punishments have a purpose. He promises to “never leave [us] or forsake [us],” so He goes through our sufferings with us. Let’s hold His hand and learn wisdom, always honoring the Savior.
“Heavenly Father, thank You for showing Your great love for me by chastening me when I need it. Help me to always recognize Your loving hand in all that happens to mold my life for Your purposes.”