The many of us who sometimes question God’s love during times of difficulty or trial would do well to remember Hebrews 12:6, “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by Him. For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives.”
This verse tells us:
— God’s discipline is a sign of love: “those whom the Lord LOVES He disciplines”
— God’s discipline is a sign of genuine sonship: “and He scourges every SON whom He receives.”
Far from being discouraged by the hardship and discipline which we receive from the Lord, we should be encouraged because it is a sign that we are truly HIS, and that we are truly LOVED!
Too often, we view the wrong things as signs of God’s blessing and love. Many of us still see material blessing and ease as a primary sign of God’s approval. We nod our heads when it is proclaimed or taught that sin and hardship are not always immediately connected (John 9). But viscerally we still feel that connection: when we are disciplined by the Lord, we wonder what we have done wrong; when we see others suffer, we feel it as a sign that God is withholding His blessing from them.
But here in Hebrews, it says instead that discipline and hardship are the true sign of God’s love and acceptance. We need a change of mind to this more Biblical perspective. Hebrews tells us that it is NOT material blessing which is the sign of God’s love. Rather, it tells us, discipline is truly that sign. Fathers who love, discipline their children! Thus the discipline which God brings into our lives, though generally unwanted by us, is actually a very real sign that we are beloved children of God.