Best For Us

After all, you have never yet struggled against sin and temptation until you sweat great drops of blood.

And have you quite forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you, his child? He said, "My son, don't be angry when the Lord punishes you. Don't be discouraged when he has to show you where you were wrong. For when he punishes you, it proves he loves you. When he whips you it proves you are really his child."

Let God train you, for he is doing what any loving father does for his children. Whoever heard of a son who was never corrected? If God doesn't punish you when you need it, as other fathers punish their sons, then it means that you aren't really God's son at all - that you don't really belong in his family. Since we respect our fathers here on earth, though they punish us, should we not all the more cheerfully submit to God's training so that we can begin really to live?

Our earthly fathers trained us for a few brief years, doing the best for us that they knew how, but God's correction is always right and for our best good, that we share his holiness. Being punished isn't enjoyable while it is happening - it hurts! But afterwards we can see the results, a quiet growth in grace and character. Hebrews 12: 4-11 (TLB)

Oluwasola Jegede is from Lagos, Nigeria.Drinking soft drinks or juice in her young nephew's presence will likely cause him to cry because he wants the drink and is not allowed to consume too much sugar. One day as he was crying for juice, it occurred to Oluwasola that while children may cry for something that will harm them, adults who know better will allow them to cry rather than to satisfy them with what is harmful.

God called her attention to the same thing about herself. At times when she would ask God for something and not get it within her time frame, she would start crying. Still, her tears didn't make God give her what she cried for. Eventually she realized the truth of Hebrews 12:7: As a good father, God will discipline her so that she could grow. God was not denying her love by withholding certain things from her. By not giving her what she wanted, God may have been protecting her or helping her to grow and mature.

When our desires and tears are for what isn't best, God will help us not to destroy ourselves with these misguided desires but instead to make better choices. God loves us and wants only the best for us.

Prayer: Dear Father, when we cry for unnecessary or harmful things, teach us to understand your discipline and embrace a love for your correction, in Jesus' name.Amen.

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