If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?—Heb. 12: 7.
Character cannot be developed wholly without trial. It is like a plant: at first it is very tender; it needs an abundance of the sunshine of God's love; frequent watering with the showers of His grace; much cultivating through the applied knowledge of His character as a good foundation for faith and inspiration to obedience; and then, when thus developed under these favorable conditions, it is ready for the pruning hand of discipline, and is also able to endure some hardness. And, little by little, as strength of character is developed, the tests applied to it serve only to develop more strength, beauty and grace, until it is finally fixed, developed, established, perfected—through suffering.
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If from our natural fathers we are chastened for our profit, it should not be considered amiss if our Heavenly Father chastens us for our profit. To be without such chastisement is an evidence that we are not His sons; to receive such chastisement proves His Fatherhood and our sonship. Therefore they should not discourage us; but assured thereby that we are sons of God, let us likewise thereby be incited to betterment.
Parallel passages: Heb. 12: 4-14; Deut. 8: 5; 2Sam. 7: 14; Job 5: 17; Psa. 94: 12; Prov. 13: 13-24; 19: 18; 22: 15; 23: 13, 14, 24; 29: 15, 17; Rev. 3: 19.
Questions: What disciplinary experiences did I have this week? How did I bear them?
What effects did they work in me?
"THINK IT NOT STRANGE!"
1 PET. 4: 12.
THINK it not strange, beloved,
When fiercely burns the fiery flame!
Think it not strange, but praise His name,
Who counts thee worthy to partake
Of painful sufferings for His sake.
Nor think it strange
When loved ones scornful from thee turn,
The Truth reject, the message spurn;
Consider Him who thus endured,
And Immortality secured!
Think it not strange, beloved,
If sometimes every door seem closed,
And all thine efforts be opposed,
But calmly wait in patience till
The master shall reveal His will.
Nor think it strange
When darker grown the "narrow way,"—
Press on, thy Master soon shall say,
"Enough, My child, thou hast well done,
Come, enter in, the Prize is won!"
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