The Truth About God’s Chastening
“My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the LORD loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.”
Pastor Prince, how can you say there is no chastisement and punishment in the new covenant? Today’s scripture states it very clearly.
My friend, there is confusion in the church because the original Greek word for “chastens” in today’s scripture has been poorly translated. The Greek word is actually paideuo, which means child training. Pai is where you get the word pediatrician (a doctor who specializes in treating children), while deuo means to teach a child. You will find that the translation of the word paideuo as child training is more consistent with the context of the passage. Read on.
The next verse says, “If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?” (Heb. 12:7). Clearly, because God deals with us as sons, He disciplines and brings correction to us just as earthly fathers would their sons.
Now, think about this for a moment: would you give your son a sickness, terminal disease, or accident to teach him a lesson? Then why do you think your loving Father in heaven would do that? No way! When you train your child, you give him lessons that will teach him things to benefit him in the future. And for him to benefit from the lesson, how can he die from it?
So God would never use terminal sicknesses or fatal accidents to teach you and me—His children—lessons. In the new covenant, while there is no longer any punishment for sins, there is child training. But God does not train His children with sicknesses, diseases, or accidents any more than you and I do. He does it through His Word (2 Tim. 3:16–17, Heb. 12:9).
Yet, sadly, there are still Christians who accuse our heavenly Father of using sickness and disease to discipline His children. What kind of God is that? Come on, He is our Abba! Abba is the most affectionate term you can use to address a father in the Hebrew language. It means “Daddy!” Do you really think your Daddy God will punish you that way?
If you earthly fathers know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more your heavenly Daddy who loves you (Matt. 7:11). Sicknesses, diseases, and accidents are from the devil, and because of Jesus’ finished work, we have been redeemed from every evil work and curse.
We can receive protection from every evil occurrence, sickness, and disease. Our heavenly Father is one who “forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies” (Ps. 103:3–4). And by the stripes on Jesus’ back, we are healed!
Whenever you hear a teaching that puts fear in your heart, such as “God gives you diseases and accidents to teach you a lesson,” you can be sure that what you are hearing is not the gospel, or good news, of Jesus. The good news of Jesus always liberates as His perfect love removes every fear. The good news always imparts faith and exalts the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross!
My friend, reject anything that even remotely suggests that God is angry with you and is going to discipline you with painful, deadly things when you fail. Our Father is full of grace and mercy and wants us to be healthy, provided for, and protected from all evil occurrences! Let’s start to expect good gifts from Him.
This devotional is taken from the book Reign in Life—90 Powerful Inspirations for Extraordinary Breakthroughs.
If you or a loved one are dealing with a health or mental wellness challenge today, know that we are praying for you. We would also like to encourage you to read
"How do I walk in faith and wisdom as I look to the Lord for healing?"
to help you build your faith as you wait for your breakthrough.
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All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version ®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.