Is God punishing us? Is that why he sent this virus? To torment us? He’s unhappy and he’s sitting up in heaven taking out his revenge upon us? Is God punishing us?
Many people, when they look at hardships in their life, that’s their conclusion. They think God must be angry with them. God must be taking his payment from them. Is that what God thinks? Is he punishing us?
In Hebrews chapter 12, he wrote this.
My son, do not regard the Lord’s discipline lightly, and do not become weary of his correction. For the Lord disciplines the one whom he loves, and he corrects every son he accepts. Endure suffering as discipline. God is dealing with you as sons. (Hebrews 12:5-7)
God is not punishing us. He is disciplining us. Those two things are very different. Punishment is always backward looking. Punishment is always in anger, extracting a payment for a wrong done. Discipline is forward looking. It’s looking to the future and for the good of the individual, shaping them into who we want them to be.
God is not punishing us. He is disciplining us. The ultimate assurance that God is not punishing us is the cross of Jesus. The Bible is clear that God placed the punishment of our sins upon him and he made Jesus pay. Jesus suffered and died as the punishment for our sins and because he has done that, we are forgiven.
God loves us and has made us his children, his sons. And just as a father loves his children and is careful to discipline them, so to our Heavenly Father loves us and is careful to discipline us. He is shaping us into who he wants us to be.
So how does this virus fit into that picture? It may be that God is trying to change you through this. He is trying to get you to step back and take a look at your priorities.
Are they really what they should be?
Are you the person that God wants you to be?
Are you taking your faith too complacently?
Is this virus a chance for you to realize life is precious and I don’t know how much longer I have? I better live differently than what I have been.
God is disciplining you. He may be giving you a wakeup call so that you can remember what is really important. That he has punished Jesus in your place so that your sins are forgiven.
So let God treat you as a son. And your suffering as discipline. Because he is loving you and shaping you into who he wants you to be. May God fill you with peace knowing that he is not punishing you, but loving you for Jesus sake, amen.