“My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor detest His correction; For whom the Lord loves He corrects, Just as a father the son in whom he delights.” Proverbs 3:11-12………….
“I’m being stern with you because that’s what you need,” the Spirit of God told me one day as I sat with my laptop doing my work in the little waiting room of the place where my car was getting repaired. There was plenty of distraction. Kids running around, noisy, the noise of cars being worked on, people coming and going, both staff and customers. I’m easily distracted, but the Lord spoke through all the noise, through all the distraction, right to my heart. About a certain situation. A situation concerning which I clearly needed the Lord to be STERN.
As I had done on and off for a very long time, I had started daydreaming and thinking about a situation that had troubled and upset me more than imaginable. I had done everything I could do to fix it, both the right way in following Jesus and much of the time the wrong way in not following Him but interfering because I had let my flesh take over. The Lord was issuing a strong warning with me that day as I sat in the waiting room. Ironically, I was in fact waiting for the Lord to show forth His glory and bring closure to a longstanding situation. The Lord had spoken to my heart in a pretty tough way, and I had remarked in my heart to Him about His sternness. That’s when His Spirit reminded me at that point in time His sternness is exactly what I needed.
The Lord always knows what we need, and sometimes He is gentle and soft and kind and comforting. Other times, He is tough and firm and stern. He knows what to say to us, when to say it to us, and how to say it to us. And I know Him and His Word well enough now to know that even His sternness comes in His love. He is the perfect Lord, the perfect God, and the perfect Father, and a good father knows when to be stern, doesn’t he?
If the Lord is being stern with you, He has His reasons. And the right response to His sternness is to listen, to hear, to be thankful that He in His love and mercy is speaking to you, and doing so sternly, and to obey Him.