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July 4 – God’s correction

“My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, Nor detest His correction; For whom the LORD loves He corrects, Just as a father the son in whom he delights.” – Proverbs 3:11, 12 

Scripture reading: Proverbs 3:11-18

Hardship and affliction are part of our human experience. God brings them our way under His providential rule. It is not a sign of His indifference, but rather an indication that He loves us and cares about us.

God is always seeking to move us forward to the goal of our sanctification. As we properly endure affliction, faith is strengthened. Pain leads to gain. It should turn our hearts more towards God and draw us nearer to Him. It is given to correct us when we are tempted or actually go astray.

We don’t always listen to God’s law as we should, so God uses affliction to get our attention. If trouble comes when your conscience is being agitated and you are straying, be sure to listen and correct your behaviour accordingly. Don’t let the opportunity go to waste.

Hebrews 5:8 tells us that our Lord Jesus, “learned obedience by the things which He suffered.” If affliction was needful for His obedience, you can be sure that it is needful for yours too. Learn from your afflictions.

The Psalmist testifies in Psalm 119:67 that he learned from his difficulties. “Before I was afflicted I went astray, But now I keep Your word.” Four verses later he added, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted, That I may learn Your statutes.” May God grant that we all learn from our affliction.

Suggestions for prayer

Ask God to give us all minds and hearts to learn and profit from affliction.

Rev. James Reaves served his last congregation, Grace Reformed Church (URCNA), in Kelowna, BC. He retired in 2014 after fifty years of ordained ministry. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.

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