11/22 Hebrews 12:5

5 And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? "My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him."

Loving fathers discipline their children. How much more will our heavenly Father, who is love, discipline us when we refuse to listen? Unlike our earthly fathers, our heavenly Father sees all that we do and knows every thought. The discipline upon King David was the loss of the baby born to Bathsheba and a rebellion led by Absalom (2 Samuel 12:23; 2 Samuel 15:13). King Uzziah was afflicted with leprosy for presuming to do what only the priests were allowed to do (2 Chronicles 26:19).

I can recall times of the Lord's discipline when I strayed from Him. I've seen the discipline of God on others who were going to cause trouble in the church. God's discipline is a sign that He loves us. When we are afflicted, we should search our hearts to see if God is dealing with us about sin in our lives. Even if it is not because of sin, God has allowed the affliction and wants to teach us through it. It is often a time to stop and think about our walk with the Lord.

We must not grow weary of being reproved by the Lord. He is drawing us closer to Himself. Jacob's wrestling match with the Lord resulted in a permanent limp (Genesis 32:31). It always reminded him of the encounter. Some of the great men and women of God in church history had lifelong afflictions. We often hold health up as the most treasured thing we can have, but a deepening relationship with the Lord is infinitely more precious.

Remember: Don't despise affliction, but instead consider it as the love of God drawing you to Himself.