Flourishing In Seasons of Chastisement
We have covered many topics on World Sunday School in the past year. We have learned about God’s goodness and His love. We have learned about God’s power and searched through the pages of His word and examined the lives of the ones who came before us. We have ventured into Study of the lives of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Daniel, Joseph and David. We have studied from the teachings of the Apostle Paul. We have learned about our fleshly natures and the natures of the Spirit. We have learned that Through Christ we can overcome sin and death. We have learned that we should not sin and that through the indwelling Spirit we are empowered to live Holy before God. We know that we should flee from temptation when the tempter comes our way. But, what do we do as children of God when we do fall into a temptation? What happens we fall into a pit that has been dug in our path to trap and destroy us? How do we survive from a fall and still come out a victor for God? These are some very tough questions that I would like for us to look at today, because we know that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. We can learn from our failures and our mistakes and we can come out of them stronger and wiser if we will take instruction and chastisement from God and understand that it is for our good, it is to teach us a higher way of living and not just punishment for what we have done wrong.
Handout: Flourishing In Seasons of Chastisement
Teacher's Guide: Flourishing In Seasons of Chastisement
In beginning to understand how to come out of a time of chastisement for wrong doing, we have to clearly understand exactly what Chastisement from God is.
We know that for every action there is a reaction or consequences be it good or bad.
This is the natural order of life, be it in the lives of the saved or unsaved. There are consequences to the choices we make, be they good or bad.
1. Consequences are part of the natural order of God as Boss.
Galatians 6:7-8 “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life ever lasting.”
Revelation 3:19 “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.”
Hebrews 12:5-13 “ 5And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 6For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. 9Furthermore 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? 10For 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. 11Now 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. 12Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; 13And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.”
So we see here that when we are in a season of chastisement from God, it is because we are His child and we have gotten into something that has taken us from Him and that has taken us from the path of righteousness. God can never separate Himself from the emotion of being Father to those who are His. If you have accepted Christ into your heart as Lord and Savior, you belong to God. You are His child and He is your Father and He can never be unbiased where you are concerned. When you and I do something wrong, when we allow ourselves to be pulled into sin whatever that sin may be, if we continue in that sin, if we do not repent and turn from it, God will intervene with Chastisement.
What we have to understand is that Chastisement is a display of affection from the LORD God, our Father. Chastisement is hard, it is not pleasant when we are going through it, but the end results are for our good!
Hebrews 12:11 “11Now 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.”
So we see here that Chastisement is a process that God uses to teach us the ways of righteousness and life in Christ. God doesn’t use chastisement against us as a way to sooth His wrath for our sin. God uses chastisement in His love for us to correct our wrongs and to heal us!
In Chastisement, God only allows the consequences to come to pass that will teach us.
Psalm 103:8-14 “8The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. 9He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. 10He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. 11For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. 12As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. 13Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. 14For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.
Yes God is not mocked and those who rebel against the LORD will be brought low, but we as His children when we fall, we do not have to fear. God does not do to us what our sins deserve otherwise we would be blasted off the planet! We should never make the mistake of assuming that we are so good in our own selves that we do not deserve hell and eternal damnation! We all do! Our righteous alone is as filthy rags.
Lamentations 3:22 “It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.”
Isaiah 64:6 “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags, and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”
God gives us grace, we can never earn it, and it is a gift from God. Grace for forgiveness of our sins and mercy to teach us from those sins and bring us into the righteousness of and through Christ. If you are going through a season of chastisement with God, do not despair or live in denial Dear one. God wants you to bring your sins to Him out in the light so that He can heal you of them. He wants you to not despair because when we give our consequences over to God, He will overtake them and they become lessons that will bring us into a deeper closeness with Him and will result in righteousness for us. Thank You LORD!
Proverbs 3:11-12 “My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of HIS correction:”
Proverbs 3: 12 “For whom the LORD loveth He correcteth; even as a Father the son in whom He delighteth.”
These passages of scripture are what is being mirrored in Hebrews 12. If you are being chastised by God know that it is because He loves you and He delights in you! He wants to bring you into the plans He has for you and I Beloved.
Hebrews 12:11-13 “11Now 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. 12Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; 13And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.”
We must own and take responsibility for the things that we do wrong. We have to make amends for those things. We can never heal or be free from sin until we confess them to God and ask Him to clean us up. If we are to be healed from the things that we continue to fall into, those sins that seem to make our knees feeble, then we must confess those things before God and ask Him to help us to learn the ways in which to flee from them. Only when we confess our sins to God and be sorry for them can we be healed of them and forgiven.
1John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and Just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
God is always and forever will be so good. Chastisement from Him is hard, but it is a necessary and important process that we must go through for God to heal us because that it the ultimate goal of God in times of Chastening, to heal us of those things that cause us to be weak and to fall. Do not be weary and despair in the rebuking of God, He is doing it out of His great love for us so that He can bring us into a place of holiness and righteousness, peace and healing. Praise You Lord!
If you are going through a time of chastisement, do not be ashamed. We have all sinned and fallen short of God’s glory and we all have flaws. Do not despair or keep yourself in denial about your sin. Confess it to God and ask Him to forgive you and then turn away from it. That is how we turn our consequences over to the hand of God and He can use it for our good and for His glory. Know that Chastisement, as hard as it is to go through, as painful as it is to endure, it is a blessing and a display of the GREAT LOVE that GOD our FATHER has for us! When we submit ourselves and our sin to God, He will lift us up in due time. What a Wonderful, Amazing, and Awesome God we serve! Thank You Lord!
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank You for the great love that You have for Your children. Thank You for caring for us so much that You would correct us when we do wrong. Lord help those today who are in a time of chastisement so that they can come through it with closeness with You and an understanding of Your mercy and grace. Lord help us to learn in the times when we fail so that we can help others who will be tempted not to fall. Help us to turn away from the things that are not of You and help us to live higher and in the righteousness that You have given us through Your beloved Son Jesus. Thank You for being good and for Your great love and compassions and for understanding that we are but dust and that we are so weak without You. Father help us to abide in You and to draw our strength from You to turn away from the temptations that Satan puts in our paths. Help us to be a people that You delight in and help us to touch Your heart and to make You smile. In Jesus name we pray. Thank You for hearing and answering our cries to You…Amen.
November 8, 2009