Monday, November 20, 2017

"The Necessity of Sorrow"

"The Necessity of Sorrow"

    God's allowance and even application of sorrow in our hearts reveals the goodness of His loving character.

    "He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes" (Proverbs 13:24).

    Kindness and the desire to bless characterizes the disposition of Divine love.  "The Lord is good to all, and His tendermercies are over all His works" (Psalm 145:9).  Such devotion, however, must flow with the current of Divine truth, justice, wisdom, and God's eternal purpose in the Lord Jesus Christ.  True love demands that He judge those who will not respond to His overtures of grace.  All creation would be doomed if the Lord failed to act against sin and its consequences.  Just as with the flood of Noah, God's present and future judgments result from His loving desire to preserve humanity from utter destruction.  "And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them.  And behold, I will destroy them with the earth…And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved" (Genesis 6:13; Matthew 24:22).  True love also demands that God chasten and scourge His trusting children in Christ when we persist in blindness or failure to repent of ongoing unbelief and disobedience.  "Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby" (Hebrews 12:11).  We would all remain spiritual infants if our Heavenly Father failed to exercise His loving discipline.  Our Lord's natural disposition of lovingkindness thus unites with the perfection of His character to motivate His actions toward us in accordance with the best interests of both creation and ourselves.  "As for God, His way is perfect" (II Samuel 22:31).

    We wouldn't want it any other way.  God must be God, and He must act accordingly if we are to have hope of life and peace.  One sentimental deviation from His spiritual and moral purity would doom us all.  Thus, if our Heavenly Father's wisdom deems that allowance or application of sorrow is for our best, His desire for our blessedness will not preclude His administration of challenges.  He takes no pleasure in seeing us hurt, but He gives no latitude regarding necessary chastening.  As Solomon declared, failure to spare the rod when necessary involves parental hatred even if it may seem that loving affection motivates the shirking of responsibility.  This is the hard truth of love, Divine love, and this is the illuminating truth regard God's perfect character, nature, and way.  He loves us enough to hurt us when and as necessary, taking no pleasure in our sorrows, but knowing that our conformity to the image of Christ is far too important to jeopardize by sentimental neglect of His parental responsibility.

"If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?  But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.  Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?  For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but He for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness."
(Hebrews 12:7-10)

Weekly Memory Verse
   Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.
(Hebrews 12:28)

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