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Grace in Judgment

INTRODUCTION: When God judges His people, He never dispenses punishment as an end in itself but as a means to an end.  Hebrews 12:5-13 expounds this truth as clearly as any passage in scripture.  When faced with chastisement. We either 1)despise our condition or 2)despair of recovery (and thereby "faint" - Hebrews 12:5). If you are under chastisement, take to heart these steps of obedience as suggested by this passage.

    1. Accept your condition as God's right to deal with your life as He sees fit (Hebrews 12:5).  The dullest warrior is he who deems it his right to fight against God. despise not
    2. Determine to press on until God accomplishes His will in your life (Hebrews 12:5).  Quitters only fail.  Their fainting does not relieve their misery.  Press on!  "Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong" (1 Corinthians 16:13). nor faint
    3. Recognize God's chastisement as proof of God's love and an indication of your sonship (Hebrews 12:6-8).  If He allowed you to prosper in rebellion, He would be showing hatred instead of love. You are never nearer the love of God than when at the wrong end of His correction rod. whom the Lord loveth
    4. Actively submit to God's working in your life (Hebrews 12:9).  Willingly come under His yoke for it is easy and His burden is light (Matthew 11:30). be in subjection
    5. Take advantage of the "profit" of chastening (Hebrews 12:10) for by it we learn holiness.  The hotter the fire, the greater the chance of permanent change in our character.  Work with God and not against Him. for our profit
    6. Look beyond the chastisement to the time of joy (Hebrews 12:11).  God has promised "the peaceable fruit of righteousness" as the reward of enduring chastisement.  We can trust in His promises.  "[W]eeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning" (Psalm 30:5). afterward it yieldeth
    7. Shake yourself out of your dejection and self-pity (Hebrews 12:12-13).  "Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet" (Hebrews 12:12-13).  Remember, the biggest fight a Christian has is the inner battle to surrender to God.  Pick yourself up and "revenge all disobedience" (2 Corinthians 10:6; see also 7:11).
    8. Let God heal your spirit (Hebrews 12:13).  Sometimes we defeat God's purpose in our lives by holding on to defeat, dejection or bitterness--thus the warning against the "root of bitterness" (Hebrews 12:15).  You have been injured for your own good.  Now is the time to "let it rather be healed" (Hebrews 12:13). let it rather be healed