why does god punish me so much
As a Christian, when you experience a painful providence like an illness or a rebellious child or a broken marriage or a financial hardship or persecution, do you ever wonder if God is punishing you for some sin you committed? If you do, there is some very good news from the letter to the Hebrews. The original readers of this letter had been experiencing persecution and affliction for some time. They were tired, discouraged, and confused Б why was God allowing such hardships? And some were doubting. БGodБs angry punishment was spent completely on Jesus Б once for all. Б
So, after some doctrinal clarifications and some firm exhortations and a few sober warnings (so they could examine if their faith was real), the author of the letter brought home a very important point. He wanted his readers to remember that the difficulty and pain they were experiencing was not GodБs punishment for their sins or weak faith. Chapters 7Б10 beautifully explain that JesusБs sacrifice for sin was once for all believers for all time (Hebrews 10:14). No sacrifice of any kind for sin was ever needed again (Hebrews 10:18). He followed that up in chapter 11 with example after example of how the life of faith has always been difficult for saints. And then he wrote the tender encouragement and exhortation of chapter 12, where he quoted Proverbs 3:11Б12: БMy son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him.
For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives. Б (Hebrews 12:5Б6) БIt is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons,Б he said (Hebrews 12:7). These saints were not to interpret their painful experiences as GodБs angry punishment for their sins. That angry punishment was completely spent on Jesus Б once for all Б on the cross. Rather, this was the message they were to understand from their hardships: God loves you! He has fatherly affection for you. He cares deeply for you. He is taking great pains so that you will share his holiness (Hebrews 12:10) because he wants you to be as happy as possible and enjoy the peaceful fruit of righteousness (Hebrews 12:11). This is why, as a father, whenever I discipline my children, I always try to make it clear to them that I am not paying them back for their sins. ThatБs why I donБt use the term Бpunishment. Б I donБt want them to misunderstand and think I am giving them what they deserve. ThatБs GodБs job. And if they trust in Jesus, all their punishment was taken care of on the cross. БEven when God disciplines us, it is a precious form of his favor. Б Instead, I always use the terms БdisciplineБ or БcorrectionБ and explain that I love them and my intention, even though the discipline is painful, is to correct and train them.
I want them to know that their father loves them, cares for them deeply, and is taking great pains to point them toward the way of joy. It is crucial that we remember that everything God feels toward us as Christians is gracious. Even when God disapproves of sinful behaviors and habits and thoughts and disciplines us, it is a precious form of his favor. ItБs what a loving father does. He is not giving us what we deserve because he canceled Бthe record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. nailing it to the crossБ (Colossians 2:14). Instead, he is training us in righteousness. Because he loves us so very much. It is not helpful to think of God in this way. The Bible doesn t present God in this manner at all. God is not a ruthless judge waiting in heaven for people to do bad things so as to punish them. Life and God s relationship to life is not that simple. The Bible tells us that God does good things for bad people and allows bad things to happen to good people (Matthew 5:45). Nothing demonstrates this more than Jesus dying on the cross. Jesus is the perfectly good person who had the ulitmate evil done to him. The evil was that a totally perfect man was unjustly executed on a cross (Luke 23:40-43). God allowed this evil thing to happen so as to bring about a greater good (2 Corinthians 5:21). The Bible presents God as a loving Father who loves his children.
The Bible tell us that if God does love us he will discipline us (Hebrews 12:7). This will mean that things will happen to Christians that they don t like. But God does this for their good, not because he is angry and wants to punish them. For Christians, Jesus has taken their punishment away, so that they will never be punished (Romans 5:8-9). I have not answered this question with either a yes or no because the answer is not that simple. The real truth to remember is that what God wants for Christians is for them to place their trust in Jesus. Which means when things are going well, they will give thanks to him. And when Christians have tough times, that they will trust him and trust that he has their best interests at heart, no matter how tough life gets (Hebrews 12:2). Again the perfect example of this is Jesus at the cross, and how he suffered humiliation and was crucified on the cross (Phillipians 2:5-8). But because he did this God raised him up and placed his name above every name (Phillipians 2:9-11). Christians need to have the same attitude of Jesus, and continue to place their trust in him because he promises us that he will be with us, all the time, while we live in this world (Matthew 28:20). If you can, spend more time reading your Bible and praying so that you will continue to learn about this incredible God, who has done so much for Christians through Jesus.
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