Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. Revelation 3:19
The Lord disciplines those whom he loves. Therefore, when we have to suffer it is a mistake to think that God no longer loves us. Such thinking betrays the whims of our hearts and our self-love. What if a child being punished says to its mother, “I see now that you hate me and can’t put up with me!” How foolish!
When things go wrong, if you become ill for instance, or if your prayers are not immediately answered, don’t think that God has rejected you. Such a thought comes from the Evil One. If hardship befalls you, it is precisely because you mean something to the Savior. He loves you.
For this reason we must not torment ourselves with all kinds of accusations. For indeed, we can torture ourselves in an altogether unhealthy and exaggerated way about guilt and sin. Not every affliction is a punishment for sin. Like Paul, we may have a thorn in the flesh so that we don’t become conceited. Recognizing your own smallness is also a sign that the Savior loves you.
Like Job, you may still need to prove your steadfastness in faith. But this, too, is a sign of the Savior’s love, that he considers you worthy – through you he wants to show the Evil One that there still are patient and faithful people here on earth, even when they have to endure a great deal of suffering. Therefore, no matter what you have to suffer, never doubt God’s love. And remember: A broken and contrite heart he will not despise (Ps. 51:17).
Johann Christoph Blumhardt