Psalms 89:30-33 If his children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments; If they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments; Then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. Nevertheless my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail.
“Children of God, you do not like it—it were not a rod if you did—but it is good for you when you come under the fatherly discipline of God. Though He will never take His everlasting love from you, nor suffer His faithfulness to fail, yet, when you transgress, the rod shall be sure to fall upon you, and sometimes its strokes shall come upon you before you transgress, to keep you from sinning!
I often hear of some of God’s dearest servants suffering. I heard of one whom I am sure God loves very much. He is very useful. He spends himself in his Master’s work. He is also very prosperous—God gives to him great wealth, which he discreetly and wisely uses, but he has had a very sharp affliction come upon him, lately, which is enough to break his heart. And when I heard it, I said, “Yes, yes, God loves him. God loves him.”
If you are a child of God, note this Truth of God and accept it with joy—our heavenly Father never pampers His children! We may spoil our girls and boys, but our Father never spoils His children. If He gives you great happiness, great success and makes you useful, He will, every now and then, give you a whipping behind the door.
You think, sometimes, “That man is very happy. He has great blessing resting on his work.” Yes, this man is very happy to tell you that he has not all sweets to drink, to make him sick and ill, but there are bitter tonics, sharp blows of the rod, to keep him right. If we have to bless God more for any one thing than for everything else, it is to thank Him that we have not escaped the rod. Sickness is a choice blessing from God! I cannot measure the unutterable good that comes to us full often in that way—and losses in business, and crosses, and bereavements, and depressions of spirit are all, when we see them in the light eternal, so many Covenant mercies.
The true-born child of God cannot escape the rod and would not if he might. He gets afraid when he does not sometimes feel it. He will not long have to be afraid about it, for it will come in due time.
I think that I hear somebody say, “I do not want that.” No, just so—you want worldly pleasure. Perhaps God will let you have it till you have spent all your substance on it, as the prodigal did—and then you will find that it is all weariness and sorrow—and you will want something better.”
— C H Spurgeon