by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (selected by Frank Cumbers)
Whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth
We must face our personal situation ... by asking: Is there something in my life that is meriting the chastisement of God? Have I been what I ought to be? ... The trouble is that we always look at the situation and the problem instead of trying to discover whether there is anything in our soul that leads God so to deal with us. The moment I become really concerned about the state of my soul, instead of my affliction, I am on the high road to God’s blessing. The Epistle to the Hebrews declares that chastisement is a proof that we are God’s children. ‘Whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth.’ If we do not know what chastisement means we ought to be alarmed because, if we are children of God, He is concerned about us and is bringing us to perfection.... When things are apparently going against us, the thing to do is ... to look at ourselves and say, ‘What of my soul? What is God saying to me and doing to me? What is it in me that is meriting all this?’ After examining ourselves, and humbling ourselves, we should place ourselves in the hands of God and say, ‘Thy way, not mine, O Lord, however hard it be. My one concern is that my soul should be right. I ask only that in wrath Thou shouldest remember mercy [Habakkuk 3:2]. But, above all, go on with Thy work that my soul may be revived, and that I may become well-pleasing in Thy sight’.
From Fear to Faith, pp. 66–7