"For when He punishes you, it proves that He loves you. When He whips you it proves you are really His child" (Hebrews 12:6).
Most of us prefer more pleasant ways of having others prove their love for us. Children, for example, never particularly relish the idea of having the "board of education" applied to the "seat of learning," but sometimes the disciplinary spanking is necessary.
We do that to our children because we love them. How much more important that our heavenly Father discipline us to keep us in line with His perfect plan and will for our lives. Sometimes that discipline is tough and painful.
This does not mean, of course, that God sends chastisement which is not deserved, or that He sends it for the mere purpose of inflicting pain. But it does mean that He is showing His paternal, loving care for us as His children when He punishes us.
As a child, a practical illustration helped me with this concept, so much so that it still sticks with me. When I allow my life to be flexible, like putty or soft clay, God can take it and mold it as He chooses. When I decide to be stubborn and resistant - hard like concrete - He sometimes has to smooth the rough edges, and that always hurts.
We sing a chorus about the Spirit of God falling afresh on us. "Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me." When you and I are like putty in His hands, yielded and committed to Him, He can indeed mold us in His image.
Today's Action Point
I will surrender to God's disciplinary action in my life realizing that as a kind, loving heavenly Father He must take such action for my own good and benefit, when I am in need of correction.