Chastening is a Greek word that means “child training, instruction, discipline.” A Greek boy
was expected to “work out” in the gymnasium until he reached his maturity.
It was part of his preparation for adult life. Trials of the Christian life are viewed in Hebrews
12:5-13 as spiritual discipline that could help a believer mature. Instead of trying to escape
the difficulties of life, we should rather be exercised by them so that we might grow.
When we are suffering, it is easy to think that God does not love us. But the writer of
Hebrews gives proof that chastening comes from the Father’s heart of love.
The words “son,” “children,” and “sons” are used six times in Hebrews 12:5-8. They refer to
adult sons and not little children.
A parent who would repeatedly chasten an infant child would be considered a monster. God
deals with us as adult sons because we have been adopted and given adult standing in His
family. The fact that the Father chastens us is proof that we are maturing, and it is the means
by which we can mature even more.
Verse for today: “My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of His
correction” (Proverbs 3:11).
Also consider: Proverbs 3:12; Hebrews 12:5-13; Romans 8:18.
Action assignment: As trials come, thank God for them; remind yourself of at least two
reasons why God has allowed them in your life.
WARREN W. WIERSBE