“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.” – Hebrews 12:11
The word chastening here is the original word “paideia”. It means discipline or more properly, “instruction that trains someone to reach full development (maturity).” Not only was the writer of Hebrews exhorting these Christ followers to continue on in this spiritual race, he was correcting them. He was spiritually disciplining them, through Christ, because they had been thinking about turning back to their old ways. Their attention was off of Jesus and the cross.
In the verses prior to this, the author compares chastening between our heavenly Father and our earthly father. When our earthly father has corrected us, we learned and we came to respect him for the correction. How much more should we love and respect our heavenly Father when He disciplines us? He corrects because He loves us and wants us to be with Him forever in Paradise.
Many times it can feel as though God does not love us when we experience these times in our lives. If He did not love us then we would never experience that conviction of the Holy Spirit. We would never be spiritually disciplined and sense His correction in our conscience. When there is conviction in our conscience that something in our life is off, God may be correcting through His Spirit. When this happens, it is important that we listen. Rest assured that it is done in love to help us mature in our faith.
Discipline in our lives as Christ followers helps us mature. Instead of trying to escape it, we should learn to heed it. Is there something in your life that God is trying to correct in you today? Are you resisting? Let the Father’s love have its perfect way in you. He may just be trying to keep you close to Him.
“Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid” – (Proverbs 12:1).