[I will rescue those who love Me]
Andrew and I both grew up with loving fathers who understood the importance of discipline. Correction and guidance are simply necessary and mandatory components of our upbringing that are meant to shape the person we’ll become, keeping us safely on course.
Boundaries are set for our protection, and discipline that’s accepted establishes fundamental character traits such as kindness, giving, and thankfulness. While we understood that our fathers meant business, we also understood that they loved us very much. The fact that they took the time to teach and train us even proved this for us.
“Whoever does not discipline his son hates him, but whoever loves him is diligent to correct him.”
Unfortunately, some parents don’t set boundaries for their children. Instead they allow their children to make their own poor choices. (God is not one of those parents.)
Some parents may even refuse to accept their obligations, bailing entirely on their child, but thankfully, God is willing to fill that gap and be a Father to the orphan, the abandoned, abused, and the lonely.
It should be noted that not all children are spoiled for lack of discipline; some children simply refuse that correction.
As adults, we may also refuse this correction from God due to our lack of understanding, our fear or our rebellious nature. God nevertheless, doesn’t fail to teach and train us, even searching for us when we go astray (Luke 15:1-7).
Listening to God, then, is for our own benefit. If we want His protection we need to be willing to listen to His instruction. If we go ahead and do things our own way instead–which will always be the wrong way–we then have to accept that our actions have consequences. For a man reaps what he sows. (Galatians 6:7)
Those who don’t listen to God are simply refusing His help, but God–as the loving Father that He is–desperately wants us safely in His care. If we accept that help, then under His supervision we can begin to mature and grow.
With perseverance we’ll even “bear fruit,” which are the character traits that God wants to insill in us so that we, being mature, will lack nothing. (James 1:2-5)
”But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” –Galatians 5:22-23
The things we go through during our trials also gives God the opportunity to show us His power. We want to see His power at work; this builds our confidence and trust in Him.
We can sometimes get lost in our adversities, but God has always intended to use them to prepare us and strengthen us for what He’s planned for our lives. We sometimes say that “the end justifies the means” meaning that some things are simply necessary to achieve the desired end result, so we all must go through the trials, and we all must be obedient to reap the rewards.
For God says, “If you love me you will keep my commands.” ( John 14:16) He also says that He will rescue those who love Him.
Unfortunately, because God has given all of us free will we may have to endure the heart aches that others cause because of their disobedience, but here too He will lovingly take our hurts and struggles, reworking them for our good. (Romans 8:28).
Lastly, be encouraged that as a father disciplines his child for a short time, God too disciples us for only a time, after which we will reap the rewards of that discipline. For God says that He will protect those who make Him their refuge. That’s our loving Father’s promise.
“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” –1 Peter 5:10
“If you make the LORD your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter, no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home. For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go.” –Psalm 91:9-11
“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” –John 14:18
“Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.” Psalm 91:14-16
The song below is from one of my favorite Disney movies “Tangled” I’ve always felt that this particular song depicted perfectly how I see God: as the loving Father He’s truly been to me.
Hope and a Future – Part 3