Happy is the man…

God’s Word always has some interesting paradoxes that seem to conflict with the way that we often feel about life and its events.  As a part of my devotional reading, I am working my way through the book of Job.  In chapter 5 there is one of these interesting paradoxes…happiness and chastening. Those two words don’t belong in the same sentence.  Yet, the Scripture says, “Behold, happy is the man whom God corrects; therefore do not despise the chastening of the Almighty. For He bruises, but He binds up; He wounds, but His hands make whole.”

How can we be happy when we know that the Lord is correcting us or chastening us?  This happiness is birthed out of the relationship that we have with God.  The Word of God reminds us in another verse that the Lord chastens those He loves.  If He loves us, He will correct us.  Though chastening is never pleasant, it is a sign of God’s working in our lives.  In fact, it is a reminder of His involvement in us and through us.

His correction brings hope because we know that He loves us enough to shape us.  Though He bruises us, He still binds us up.  When we are wounded, He has hands to heal.  This loving correction is coupled with His compassionate desire to mold us into what He desires us to be.  He sees what we can become.  He sees us for the good and desires to work things “out” of our lives rather than allowing us to hold on to things that do us no good.

To find happiness in chastening means that we must have a right heart even when we are bruised.  His correction is meant to nudge us back to the right path.  When we tend to wander off, He allows things in our life to push us back to the good way.  This is where our heart must be open to His guidance and leading.  Our prayer should be, “Lord, what are you trying to show me through these things?  Where have I strayed and how can I get back to Your perfect plan?  Search my heart and see if there is any wicked way in me.”

Happiness is attainable in chastening as you learn to walk with God and follow His heart for your life.  Instead of becoming upset that you have to endure hardship, rejoice that you are loved enough to be corrected.  Thank Him for loving you enough to not let you stay the same.

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