If you’re in the depths right now because of sin—if you’re overcome because of the Lord’s rod on your back, be encouraged. He’s chastening you because of his tender love. He chastens because he wants you to fear him—to know his care for you.

What, exactly, does it mean to fear the Lord? It means being able to say, “I know my Father loves me. I’m safely forever his and I know he’ll never abandon me. He feels my pain whenever I struggle. And he’s patient with me as I war against unbelief. He’s always ready to forgive me whenever I call on him. But I also know he’s not going to allow me to keep disobeying his Word. My heavenly Father won’t spare me—because he loves me deeply.” Chastening is for correction.

That is the point of it all. God wants us to accept his forgiveness so we may fear him. “There is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared” (Psalm 130:4). Once we fear the Lord, we’ll want more than just to obey him. We’ll want to please him, to put a smile on his face. That is the blessed result of the holy fear of God.