"Now I say that each believer should confess his sins to God when he is aware of them, while there is time to be forgiven. Judgment will not touch him if he does" (Psalm 32:6).
Mary had rebelled against the preaching of her Nazarene father, a godly pastor. She lived with her boy friend in open defiance of her biblical teaching. Now, God was disciplining her because of disobedience. She was miserable, filled with hate and resentment, when a mutual friend brought her to my office for counsel.
I shared with Mary that just as a loving father disciplines a disobedient child, so God in His love for us disciplines us when we are disobedient. Actually, "child training" would be a more accurate way of describing what God does for us when we are disobedient.
Like Mary, many Christians unnecessarily go through all kinds of adversity: financial, emotional, marital and family problems, and even physical illness. More often than not, God is trying to get their attention. But because they refuse to listen and obey Him, they are disciplined and their misery continues.
Beware, of course, that you do not assume that every time friends or loved ones have difficult experiences, they are being disciplined by God because of disobedience. It may well be that God is working in their lives as He did in Job's not because of disobedience but to help them mature and become more fruitful and effective witnesses or models of His grace to others.
When you personally, like Mary, are going through adversity, however, and problems continue to plague your life, you would do well to look into the mirror of God's Word. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you if there is any unconfessed sin in your life. If there is, be quick to turn to the Lord, confess your sins and receive His forgiveness and cleansing in order to avoid further chastening.
Today's Action Point
I will write down on paper, for my own personal information only, any known weakness, sin or sins that are plaguing me today. I will confess that sin, or those sins, and receive by faith God's forgiveness and cleansing. (If you are continuing to breathe spiritually, you will not allow sins to accumulate, for the moment you become aware of sin you confess it to the Lord and keep on walking in the light as He is in the light.)