Responding to God’s Discipline

God’s grace spares us from more heartache and pain than any of us deserve. God in grace also disciplines His children because He loves them (Hebrews 12). This concept makes us feel very uncomfortable. But reflecting on the hell we all deserve because of our egregious sin against the infinitely holy God of heaven generates gratitude for what we have been spared.

And yet we must still wrestle through the times of “chastening” the Lord brings.

David experienced God’s chastening. Following David’s sin with Bathsheba and murder of Uriah, David confessed his sin and received God’s forgiveness – but God still allowed the consequences to take their devastating course.

Psalm 3 reflects the prayer of someone experiencing God’s hand of discipline and responding to God righteously in the midst of that. The heading reads, “A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son.” We can summarize this psalm with these words: “How to pray when in the midst of distressing consequences for personal disobedience.” This psalm reflects the grace of God in the midst of His fatherly chastening – we can still cry out to Him and He hears!

  1. Explain the scenario (1-2) – In this case, it was overwhelming and oppressive
  2. Exalt the Lord (3-4) – David declares the Lord is the source of any of his value
  3. Entrust yourself to the Lord (5-6) – By resting in the Lord and resisting anxiety
  4. Enjoin God’s intervention (7) – I can still ask God to save me from what He allows
  5. Express confidence in the Lord (8) – My sinful disobedience will not undermine the gracious salvation of God and the richness of His blessings!

God gives grace upon grace even during times of distressing consequences for our own disobedience. His mercy extends infinitely beyond the scope of our foolish sin. Finding ourselves in the surging chaos of consequences tempts a look at the sea and we begin to sink. Look back to Jesus. Allow Him to guide you through the difficulty – even if you brought it on yourself. Turning to your own strength only complicates the consequences.

About the Author
Nathaniel Pringle serves as the pastor of Eastside Community Bible Church, Milford, Ohio. His goal is to fulfill the commission in Titus 2:1, "But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine." (ESV)

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