The fact is, that this world is not the place of punishment. There may now and then be eminent judgments; but as a rule God does not in the present state fully punish any man for sin. He allows the wicked to go on in their wickedness; he throws the reins upon their necks; he lets them go on unbridled in their lusts; some checks of conscience there may be; but these are rather as monitions than as punishments. So, then, we must remember that as this world is not the place of punishment, we are to expect punishment and reward in the world to come; and we must believe that the only reason, then, why God afflicts his people must be this: “In love I correct thee, thy gold to refine To make thee at length in my likeness to thine.”
Sometimes God rebukes his children under the ministry. The minister of the gospel is not always to be a minister of consolation.
Sometimes, again, God rebukes his children in their consciences, without any visible means whatever.
At other seasons the rebuke is quite indirect. How often have I met rebuke where it never was intended to be given! But God overruled the circumstance for good.
There never was an idol that God either did not or will not pull out of its place.
But this is not the only sin: we are all subject to another crime which God abhors exceedingly. It is the sin of pride.
Sometimes God chastens and afflicts us, to prevent sin. He sees that the embryo of lust is in our hearts, he sees that that little egg of mischief is beginning to hatch and to produce sin, and he comes and crushes it at once nips the sin in the bud. Ah! we cannot tell how much guilt Christians have been saved from by their afflictions.
And now I am to conclude by noting WHAT IS OUR COMFORT WHEN GOD REBUKES AND CHASTENS US? Our great comfort is, that he loves us still. Oh! what a precious thing faith is when we are enabled to believe our God, and how easy then it is to endure and to surmount all trouble!
When one comes to die and has Jesus with him, even then dying is hard work; but to die without a Savior! Oh! my friends, are you inclined to risk it?
© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible