“It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?”
The Message version renders this passage, “God is educating you; that’s why you must never drop out. He’s treating you as dear children. This trouble you’re in isn’t punishment; it’s training, the normal experience of children.”
C.H. Spurgeon preached a message May 24, 1888 entitled “The (Blessed) Discipline of the Lord.” Here are some excerpts, and the points; the whole message is linked below.
“Blessed is the man whom You chasten, O Lord, and whom You teach out of Your law; that You may grant him relief from the days of adversity, until a pit is dug for the wicked. For the Lord will not abandon His people, nor will He forsake His inheritance. For judgment will again be righteous, and all the upright in heart will follow it. Ps. 94:12-15”
“I. First, I will ask you to notice that GOD’S CHILDREN ARE BEING TRAINED. For instance, we have learned from discipline the evil of sin.
“’Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word.’ There are some sorrows that obviously come as the result of our own folly. We have to reap the harvest of the seed that we sow; and by this process we are made to see that it is a very evil and bitter thing to sin against God. This is an important lesson; I wish that more of God’s people had carefully learned it. I wish that some who profess to be Christians had some basic concept of the extreme sinfulness of sin; but I believe that instruction on this point often comes from the disciplining hand of God.
“The discipline we receive from God teaches us the unsatisfactory nature of worldly things. Don’t we also learn by affliction our own frailty, and our own impatience? Don’t we then learn also the value of prayer?
“If you read through the text, dear friends, you will notice that the rod is not without the Word. We look to the Bible for comfort when we are disciplined. The Word of God is not only used at such times for comfort, but also for direction. During times of discipline we have also proved, dear friends, the power of the Word of God.
“That leads me to say next, that, according to our text, God himself is our teacher.
“II. Now let me say a little on our second point, and only a little. We have seen God’s children being trained; now let us look at GOD’S CHILDREN EDUCATED. First, we learn to rest in the will of God. If we struggle against God’s will, we only increase our sorrow. Our self-will usually lies at the root of our greatest griefs. Give way, and you have won; yield to God, and you have obtained the blessing you desire. The bitterness will be removed from your grief when you consent to be grieved if God will have it to be so. We make advances in our spiritual education when we learn to rest after our afflictions.
“III. I must now move on to my third point, which is, that GOD’S CHILDREN ARE STILL DEAR TO HIM. First, then, the Lord will not reject his people. Then, further, the Lord will never forsake his people, for it is added, ‘he will never forsake his inheritance.’ Sometimes you are thrown into the furnace; yes, it may be true, but in the furnace you are not rejected. Metal put into the furnace is not thrown away; had it been worthless, it might have been thrown on the scrap pile; but it is put into the furnace because it is of value. When you are put into the furnace, and into the greatest heat that can be attained, it is that the Lord may take away your impurities, and thus purify you for his service.
“IV. I will now close with this fourth point, GOD’S PEOPLE WILL BE RIGHTED IN THE END: ‘Judgment will again be founded on righteousness, and all the upright in heart will follow it.’ Right now, judgment seems to be held back. Don’t be in a hurry, child of God; the Lord has timed his absence. And what then? Judgment will be welcomed by the godly. I will finish by simply reminding you that he is damned to hell who has never felt the disciplining hand of God, or sat at his feet to learn from him; but he is indeed blessed who yields himself entirely up to be the disciple of the Lord. May it be with every one of you, for our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake! Amen.”
Here is the link to the whole sermon, Blessed Discipline.
A surgeon may have to remove a limb to save our life; our Father may have to remove from our lives what we consider to be irreplaceable things to save our lives.