“Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it” (Hebrews 12:11, NKJV).
God is talking about his own heart here as well as ours. His chastening is not joyous to him but grievous and painful. When God moves in to judge, he hovers over his children as he chastens them. He looks for even the slightest sign of sorrow or repentance, and he lets up at the first inkling of one. He longs to say, “Enough, no more. It pains me too much to punish you.”
Beloved, you must come to grips with this matter of God's pain. When others are trying to hurt you, you have to bring your thoughts into captivity, and say, “Oh, Lord, let me pray for my enemies, for those who are trying to wound me.”
God loves the most wicked, vile sinner on the street; and if he loves that person, how much more does he love the Christian who hurts you and has made himself your enemy?
Perhaps you have an idea by now of how far we are from the heart of God. We have so much yet to learn of his heart. No, he does not delight in judgment. He takes no pleasure in the destruction of the wicked, nor in his chastening of his children. On the contrary, it pains him awfully.
Let me tell you what the Lord delights in. “Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in mercy. He will again have compassion on us, and will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea” (Micah 7:18-19).
Thank God for his great compassion that is available to all. He delights in mercy!