Chastisement and Suffering Part 1: Introduction

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Do Christians experience chastisement from God? What about suffering? There are different ideas about these topics, and I expect these ideas to come up in the future, so I think it is worth looking into.

There are multiple perspectives and teachings about the chastisement of God and suffering in the life of a Christian. I would like to find reconciliation if possible or at least increase my own understanding.

For example, should a Christian feel shame? Is this chastisement? Some say that when we feel shame for sin, Satan is tempting us to lose faith or to doubt our salvation while accusing us before God, therefore we should ignore those feelings of shame and instead trust in the blood of Jesus that covers our sin and forgives us. Some say that we should ignore any idea of God’s chastisement because Jesus took our chastisement upon Himself on the cross.

Some say that when we feel ashamed for sin this is the Spirit convicting our hearts and we should listen so that we are not as a fool who despises correction. Some say that God chastises those He loves, and though chastening does not feel good, we should try to be thankful for it and after it is done, we will see the good result.

Sometimes chastisement is a form of suffering, but not all suffering is God’s chastisement. What about suffering in general? Jesus teaches that we should expect suffering, but He also provides many blessings in this life.

Some say that God is love, therefore any bad thing that happens to us comes from Satan and not God. Some say that God only wants good things for us (with an understanding of “good” in terms of a pleasant life).

Some say bad things happen to us when we anger God and good things in life indicate God’s blessing and approval (again “good” in terms of a pleasant life).

Some say that bad things happen regardless of our sin because we live in a fallen world, and these things happen independently of our sin or God’s will.

Some say that God is in control of all things, and He allows bad things to happen to us for our good.

Some say that bad things happen to us so that the glory of God is revealed, and this has nothing to do with the sin we have committed.

Some say that suffering is part of living a Christian life, and we should consider it a blessing to suffer for the name of Jesus.

Some say that we should not suffer in this world because God has not appointed us to wrath.

I think there is truth to all these ideas, but we must consider some things if we want a more well-rounded view.

I want to spend some time considering chastisement and suffering by looking to scripture and personal experience in comparison to the various ideas I have heard taught.

Do you have teachings, thoughts, scripture, or experience that you’d like to share before I begin this series?

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