(Words of Divine Comfort– Octavius Winslow, 1872)
“I am with you, says the Lord–I will correct you in measure.”–Jer. 30:11
Divine correction is an essential element in our spiritual fitness for divine glory. The furnace of trial is as necessary to our heart-sanctification; as the fountain of blood is to our soul-cleansing. There must be, not only a legal title to the possession of heaven, but there must also be a moral fitness for the enjoyment of heaven. Christ produces the one by the imputation of His righteousness, the Holy Spirit produces the other by the impartation of His grace; and one of His most powerful instruments in its accomplishment is, the sanctified correction of our God. Oh, who would ask exemption from the discipline of correction, when the rod that inflicts it is so thickly studded with the buds and so richly blooms with the blossoms of grace, soon to expand and ripen into the golden fruit of glory?
“I will correct you.” It is the language of our heavenly Father–for what son is there whom the Father chastens not? Enough, my soul, that all your afflictions and sufferings, trials and sorrows, are paternal, and not judicial–the correction of a Father, and not the condemnation of a Judge; and, though the sword is unsheathed to slay, and the rod is uplifted to smite, both are in the hands of Paternal Love–love, that can do nothing unkind, nothing arbitrary, nothing wrong, nothing that shall injure a hair of our head. “I will correct you.” Then, Lord, do as seems good to You. Give me this sign and seal of my sonship; let me but look above and beyond the second and proximate causes of my calamity and grief, and see no one but Jesus, and hear no voice but my Father’s–and I bow my head and drink without a murmur the cup You give me.
“In measure,” that is,according to judgment; with discretion, with moderation, not measured by what you deserve, but by what you can bear. Ah! how measured, my soul, have the corrections of the Lord been with you! Not according to the scale of my innumerable sins, aggravated backslidings, ungrateful returns; but, according to the multitude–the infinite multitude–of Your tender mercies and loving-kindnesses, have You chastened me, O my Father. Know therefore, my soul, that God exacts of you less than your iniquity deserves (Job 11:6). Truly, Lord, You have not dealt with me after my sins, nor rewarded me according to my iniquities. “Correct me, but with judgment–not in Your anger, lest You bring me to nothing” (Jer. 10:24).
Listen to the Lord’s gracious answer, “I will not accuse forever, nor will I always be angry, for then the spirit of man would grow faint before me–the breath of man that I have created.” (Isaiah 57:16). Jesus bore for you correction without measure, wrath without mixture, draining the cup to its dregs, that He might give it back to you, brimmed and overflowing with a Father’s love.
Precious Savior! there had been no mixture of sweetness in my cup of sorrow–no tender mitigation of my discipline of suffering–no measurement in my Father’s corrections–no hope in my approaching death–had You not sorrowed, suffered, and died in my stead–exhausting the last particle of my curse, and drinking the last drop of God’s wrath. I will love You, Lord, for You have dealt well with Your servant. Correct me–it will but scatter the chaff, and consume the dross, and rid me of the clay; and I shall mount on stronger wing, and soar to a loftier height, and sing a sweeter song, as I ascend–
“All I meet I find assists me
In my path to heavenly joy,
Where, though trials now attend me,
Trials never more annoy–
Thus to lead to endless joy.
“Blest these with a weight of glory.
Still the path I’ll never forget,
But, exulting, cry, it leads me
To my blessed Savior’s seat!
Which has brought to Jesus’ feet!”