From Sister Ashley.
Lately, it has been stressed that we need to know why we are here, and know that this way of life is what we want. Of course, this makes you go through a period where you "check" yourself. Asking God how you're doing, if anything needs fixing, etc. A friend of mine had the best testimony the other week, and in it she was saying she had been going through a time like that. She was wondering if in her heart she was 100% for God’s way of life. And she said the Spirit reminded her of everything she has gone through in the past year or so, and how she gave up something that she'd always wanted, marriage and a family, because the man she was married to didn't want God anymore and was very abusive, physically and mentally. But she didn't have to keep loving God. He was showing her that she did have a heart to do what is right, and that she showed it by the life she chose to continue living.
Well, last week, I was going through the same thing, asking God if I really had a heart for him, and the same thing happened. I started remembering everything that I have gone through this past year. I lost my father, brother, and my mother to this world, but I hung in there, by the grace of God. And then He blessed me beyond what I could have imagined. During this past year, I have been scourged to the bone by God, and I was thinking about that, and I was reminded of a conversation with Token a few months back. I was very sick, and she came to see me. She was rubbing my head and said "God sure does love you." I looked at her, kind of wondering where that came from, and she reminded me of the scriptures in the bible referring to God chastening those He loves. And when you think of that, what love it is! Not that it feels good to be chastened at the time,but afterwards, the cleanness and the love in it overwhelm the rest. Here are the scriptures that I found referring to the love of God's chastisement, from such great men as John, Paul, Job, and David (you can tell that they had their share, but loved God for it):
Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty: (Job 5:17)
Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O LORD, and teachest him out of thy law; (Psalm 94:12)
The Lord hath chastened me sore: but he hath not given me over unto death. (Psalm 118:18)
For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. (Hebrews 12:6)
Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. (Hebrews 12:11)
But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. (1 Corinthians 11:32)
As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. (Revelation 3:19)