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Devotional - week of September 25, 2005


TOUGH LOVE

 "My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives."  Hebrews 12:5-6

The term “tough love” is part of the vocabulary of many believers. Many adult believers have practiced tough love for years.

Tough love is children compassionately moving a grieving parent to a care-giving facility. Tough love is parents refusing to permit a child to do what “everybody else is doing” or disciplining a child for the child’s own good. Tough love is always what is best for the one receiving it.

God has engaged in tough love almost from the beginning of the existence of man. Hebrews 12:5-6 is a quotation of Proverbs 3:11-12 which declares God’s use of tough love centuries before the Hebrews quote.

God’s tough love makes believers “partakers of His holiness” according to Hebrews 12:10. It results in “the peaceable fruit of righteousness” according to Hebrews 12:11.

Experiencing the life of grace, as discussed in Romans 6, also results in “righteousness” and “holiness”—which result in the abundant life.

We can conclude that because God’s tough love results in righteousness and holiness, through it He is moving us to grace and the abundant live.

What we ordinarily call “tough times” the Scriptures describe as God’s “tough love.” All believers receive God’s tough love because we all have our tough times.  

When the Apostle Paul realized that his thorn-in-the flesh was God’s way of sending him grace, he began to praise God for every type of tough time because he knew it would result in grace.

All believers can be in victory while in the tough times when we join Paul in praising God for them.