Proof of Love
And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? Hebrews 12:5–7 KJV
The road you walk through your trial is different than the dark road your non-Christian neighbors and friends travel. They have no concept of what’s going on in their lives, what it means, or where it’s going. The fact that as you’re going through difficult days, you’re not growing bitter but you’re better, and you love the Lord more - all of that is proof positive that you’re a card-carrying member of the family of God.
What confirmation that is! You are part of God’s family. You’re one of His daughters or sons. We’re His children.
Maybe when you read about trials, you can’t relate. Perhaps you’re thinking, I don’t know what you’re talking about. Everything is moving along in my life, and it has been that way for a decade now. No problems of any kind: money in the bank, no health crisis, kids are perfect, marriage is rocking! While that might seem like good news, it’s not. Hebrews 12:5–7 says that all God’s kids are getting it! So if you’re not going through any trials, you’d better return to “GO” and find out if you’re really in the family.
But if you are in the family, then a lot of amazing things are coming your way. As 1 John 3:1 says, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God..."
You get hell canceled. (Even if the list stopped there, that would still be amazing!)
You get heaven guaranteed.
You get the Spirit of God as the deposit that the rest of God’s blessing is coming.
You get the assurance of the forgiveness of sin.
You get the camaraderie of Christian fellowship.
If you’re in a trial, see it as proof of God’s love for you. If God didn’t love you, if you weren’t His child, then He wouldn’t discipline you. “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth” (Hebrews 12:6). Let me speak that truth loudly, clearly, and straight into your heart: God loves you. His eyes are upon you every moment (2 Chronicles 16:9). You are never out of His thoughts (Isaiah 49:15). He loves you “with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3). And nothing will ever “be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39). You did nothing to deserve His love. You don’t do anything to maintain it. You didn’t earn it, so you can never lose it. God has chosen to set His love on you, not because of who you are but because of who He is. He is your Father, and you are His child.
And every trial you go through proves that.
God, what a gift that I can call you Father. Thank You for loving me and making me Your child. Your love changes everything. It is the surest reality of my life. No matter where I go, no matter what I do, no matter what happens to me, You love me. Help me to see everything through your eyes. When hard times come, let me see them as proof of Your love. And because You first loved me, I love You back. In Jesus’ name, amen.