Our afflictions proceed from God's heart!
(Arthur Pink, 1935)
"For the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and chastises every son whom He receives!" Hebrews 12:6
"Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline." Revelation 3:19
"My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline or be weary of His reproof — for the Lord reproves him whom He loves, as a father the son in whom he delights!" Proverbs 3:11-12
The Christian's chastisements flow from God's love. Not from His anger or hardness, nor from arbitrary dealings — but our afflictions proceed from God's heart! It is love which regulates all the ways of God in dealing with His own people.
It was love that elected them. The heart is not warmed when our election is traced back merely to God's sovereign will. But our affections are stirred when we read, "For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ." Ephesians 1:4-5
It was love that redeemed us. We do not reach the center of the atonement — when we see nothing more in the cross than a vindication of the Law and a satisfaction of divine justice: "God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son." John 3:16
It is love that regenerates or effectually calls us: "With loving-kindness have I drawn you!" Jeremiah 31:3. The new birth is not only a marvel of divine wisdom and a miracle of divine power — but it is also and superlatively a product of God's affection!
~ ~ ~ ~
"In Christ's love, you have begun a banquet that will never end! The richest, the most celestial, the most transporting joy that mortal mind can know — is a full assurance of the love of God!" (Charles Spurgeon)