“I used to think it was a ‘cruel’ doctrine to say that troubles and sorrows were ‘punishments.’ But I find in practice that when you are in trouble, the moment you regard it as a ‘punishment’, it becomes easier to bear. If you think of this world as a place intended simply for our happiness, you find it quite intolerable: think of it as a place of training and correction and it’s not so bad.”
—C.S. Lewis, Answers to Questions on Christianity.
2 thoughts on “God’s Rod”
There is now doubt God will use troubles and sorrows as punishment. The troubles that we face could be intended or unintended consequences of someone elses sin. God then uses these situations to further conform you to the image of His Son.
I agree with comment one above by Andrew. The lack of a one to one correspondence between “a” sin and “a” consequence is an aspect of the glory of God’s creation expressing His exquisitely frustrating (to us sinners) wrath against sin and the even greater glory of His grace in Christ to those redeemed from that wrath.
I used to ask how we were to discern whether a trouble was a “trial” or a “punishment”. We know we are to persevere through trials and repent at punishments, but it seemed difficult to know which to do. Then I remembered Matthew 7:11 and thought how no father would punish a child without warning and explaining clearly what had been done wrong. We may deceive ourselves that we don’t know what we did wrong but that dog won’t hunt.