If chastisement were not necessary
(James Smith, "The Evening Sacrifice; Or, A Help to Devotion" 1859)
"No chastening seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it." Hebrews 12:11
Afflictions are always painful — and days of affliction are often gloomy. But as we are training for eternity, as we are maturing for Heaven, and as afflictions are necessary discipline — we must be afflicted. If chastisement were not necessary — then our loving Father would never use the rod. But as every one of us needs correction — He chastens every son whom He receives. God's chastisements are intended for our instruction — they are designed to teach us . . .
the evil of sin,
our need of grace,
the holiness of God,
the preciousness of Jesus,
the emptiness of the world,
and the blessedness of Heaven.
These are lessons of the deepest importance to us — lessons that we are slow to learn; and therefore we must have line upon line, and stroke upon stroke.
Heavenly Father, help us to bow to Your sovereign will, to bear with patience every stroke of Your rod, and to learn the holy and important lessons which You intend to teach us. May we not only submit to Your discipline — but, seeing the love which ordains it, and the need there is for it — even acquiesce in it. Keep us from fretting at pain, repining at losses, or giving way to too much grief at bereavements — knowing that all these things come from You, and that You design them for our good. Help us to understand that every trial and every trouble is a blessing — and will end in eternal glory. Sweet thought!
O for grace to yield ourselves to You — and to sweetly acquiesce in all Your paternal dealings!
"Blessed is the man whom God corrects — so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty." Job 5:17