How Do We Know When God is Chastening Us?

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Hi R____,

Thank you for your question. It is one we all have at one one or another.

I used to wonder if my trials and tribulations were God chastening me or if  they were the result of my own sins. When I was at last humbled by God I realized that “all things” means “all things” in this verse:

Eph 1:11  In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will

Then I was able to understand that whether my trials were sent to me through the offenses of others against me or through my own offenses against God and my fellow man, they were all, in the final analysis, sent to me from God. While “[my own] iniquities, will correct me”, even those iniquities are not really ‘my’ iniquities, any more than Joseph’s brothers’ or Paul’s sins were their own sins. The sins of us all are really God correcting us through our own sins, just as the offenses of others are given to us by God to try our faith and show us all just how incapable of serving Him we all are of our own strength.

The entire book of Job is written to demonstrate to us that we have no control over anything and that God is working everything that happens to bring mankind to see the sinful composition and the sinful condition God has placed us in to humble us:

Ecc 1:13 I applied my heart to inquiring and exploring by wisdom concerning all that is done under the heavens:it is an experience of evil Elohim has given to the sons of humanity to humble them by it. (CLV)

Read these words, and believe them:

Gen 45:4  And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt.
Gen 45:5  Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.
Gen 45:6  For these two years hath the famine been in the land: and yet there are five years, in the which there shall neither be earing nor harvest.
Gen 45:7  And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance.
Gen 45:8  So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.

Pro 16:4  The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

Isa 63:17  O LORD, why hast thou made us to err from thy ways, and hardened our heart from thy fear? Return for thy servants’ sake, the tribes of thine inheritance.

Then just in case we do not yet get the point, Paul twice tells us plainly:

Rom 7:17  Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
Rom 7:18  For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
Rom 7:19  For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
Rom 7:20  Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
Rom 7:21  I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
Rom 7:22  For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
Rom 7:23  But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

God operates in the affairs of men through laws, which only He can sustain:

Jas 4:12  There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?

When we are finally given to accept the truth that God operates and rules in “all things” in all the affairs of mankind through the laws which only He gives and sustains for the destruction of the old man, and through that destruction, to save the new man, then we will understand that every trial we are given is actually, in the final analysis, given to us by God to chasten us to “forsake ungodliness and worldly lusts and to live Godly lives in this present age”.

So Ecc 9:2 is true:

Ecc 9:2  All things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean; to him that sacrificeth, and to him that sacrificeth not: as is the good, so is the sinner; and he that sweareth, as he that feareth an oath.

I hope all these verses of scripture have demonstrated that God is working all things to destroy our old man and through that destruction to save the new man within us all, and that for that reason all of our trials, regardless of the source or the size of the trial, are one and all God’s chastening grace to bring our minds in alignment with His mind and His ways.

Your brother who is enduring the same trials,


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