“For the Lord will not cast off forever, but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love; for he does not afflict from his heart or grieve the children of men.” (Lamentations 3:31-33)
Today’s text says that the Lord sometimes causes grief… that sounds strange at first! The text continues by saying that “He does not afflict from his heart”, but why would God cause grief at all? It is because He loves us… Hebrews 12:7 explains this further: “It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?” God’s discipline shows his love and compassion. He does not want us to continue on our grievous ways, and one way to correct us can be by “causing grief”.
An example is given in Psalm 32, where David describes what happened after he had committed a severe sin: “When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me”. Then David acknowledged his sin, and God forgave him. The Lord did not let him cover his sin and ‘run away’, but wanted to restore the relationship. That’s a sign of real love. Then “for the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it” (Hebrews 12:11).
Have you ever experienced God’s discipline?