There is a widely accepted notion that God doesn't only bless people, but He also punishes them for their wrongdoings. That is why many are eager to know how to spot those signs that show God is punishing them. For this same reason, I have decided to write this article on “signs that God is punishing you.” If you've been anticipating an article like this, follow up let's learn.
I've noticed that, the moment things cease to go smoothly for some individuals (especially Christians), they may be tempted to start thinking God is likely punishing them for something they must have done wrong. Some even go to the extent of trying to figure out what they did wrong that attracted God's punishment.
Hebrews 12:11 ESVFor the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
Based on the diverse unpleasant experiences people have, some often end up asking questions like:
- Why is God punishing me financially?
- Why is God punishing me with singleness?
- Does God punish you for your thoughts?
- Will God punish me for my past?
- Will God punish me if I don't go to church?
- How long does God punish you?
There is nothing wrong in constantly doing self-introspection and repenting of certain things we've done—which could displease God. Such an act will always help better our relationship with the Lord.
But it is wrong to see God as a rigid taskmaster who sits in Heaven, watching and waiting to catch us in our mistakes, so He could immediately inflict punishment upon us. God has better things to do than waiting to catch and punish people in their sins daily.
This isn't me trying to deny the fact that every sinner deserves God's punishment. That is also why the Father sent the Son to give Himself as a ransom for our sin (John 3:16).
Instead of punishment, God chooses to handle us with love. He chooses forgiveness and mercy, over condemnation and damnation. He gives us many more chances to right our wrongs.
I trust that someone will have a change of mindset towards who God is, after they're done reading this article. Let's trust the Lord to reveal to us new things concerning His dealings with man, as we go through today's teaching.
How do I know if I'm being punished by God? For Christians, we cannot say God punishes us. It's scripturally acceptable to say God disciplines us—in line with Romans 8:28. God's punishment is equivalent to God's wrath, and the Bible tells us that God has not appointed us for wrath (1 Thessalonians 5:9).
Is God Punishing Me
A punishment is a penalty meted out on someone for their offense. As Christians, I would say that the word, “punishment” is wrongly used when it comes to our relationship with the Lord—especially in this dispensation.
I'd also say the word “punishment” is a bit extreme; and we cannot say God is cruel or extreme in His dealings with humanity. Anyone who thinks God is cruel, either doesn't know Him or hasn't experienced His love.
Hebrews 12:7 ESVIt is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?
According to the holy scriptures, when we are saved, we have been spared God's wrath. God's punishment is for wicked people. Before God decides to apply punishment on any man, that man must have really done extremely wicked—intentionally and rebelliously ignoring all warnings to retrace their steps.
God's punishment is God's wrath, and God's wrath is for the unsaved and wicked people who have intentionally and rebelliously refused to repent.
Romans 1:18 ESVFor the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.
God is love; He rarely inflicts punishment on anyone. Each time God decides to stretch forth the rod of punishment upon someone, it often means they really stepped on His toes. I'll give you a couple of instances below:
1. The Case Of Ananias and Sapphira
Ananias and Sapphira were members of the early Christian Church in Jerusalem. During one occasion of giving of alms to the Apostles, the coupled were punished for lying to the Holy Spirit. The punishment came directly from the hand of God and it was instant death.
Acts 5:3 NIVThen Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land?
Theirs was that of bold, flagrant sin against God. They carefully plotted it at home, came out and executed it. To God, they deserved to be punished.
2. The Case Of Herod
One fateful day, Herod had set forth himself to be worshipped by the people, unknowing to him, that was also going to be his last day on earth.
Acts 12:21-22 NIVOn the appointed day Herod, wearing his royal robes, sat on his throne and delivered a public address to the people. They shouted, “This is the voice of a god, not of a man.” Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died.
The punishment God meted out on King Herod was due to the fact that he did not give God the glory due Him. Stealing God's glory and replacing God in people's hearts is a very serious offense against Him.
God doesn't “punish” Christians but He “disciplines” us when necessary. Discipline and punishment don't carry the same weight. If you check “punishment vs discipline” online, you'll discover that both words have different and distinct definitions.
Although even as Believers, we need to be careful that we don't step on God's toes like Ananias and Sapphira did.
As I earlier said, God's wrath is for the evil and wicked person. If a Christian chooses to be that way and goes extra mile to “test the Spirit of God” (Acts 5:3), God may prefer to dish out punishment instead of mere discipline.
So, if you think God is punishing you, could it be that you did something extremely evil and wicked against God; something you feel you deserve to be punished for?
If you're still alive (irrespective of what evil thing you did), understand that God is giving you yet another chance to repent and get right with Him. God is not punishing you, but don't misuse this opportunity.
Why Does It Feel Like God Is Punishing Me
While punishment might be the final verdict pronounced upon a criminal—endorsing their destruction—discipline on the other hand, has more to do with teaching and correcting.
We are in the dispensation of Grace. God rarely punishes these day, instead, He calls to repentance. We also must not take this for granted.
Isaiah 55:7 NIVLet the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
Some of us are always quick to assume that God is punishing us, but God's punishment is not something any man can cope with. Going through hard times doesn't always mean God is punishing you.
If you're constantly living in sin and rebellion towards God, feeling like God is punishing you could simply be the Holy Spirit convicting and asking that you to start living right.
If you've been rebellious towards God for a long time, and you feel like the world is closing in on you; and nothing you touch to do succeeds, I'm sure you know the right thing to do. In such a scenario, it is not enough to feel like God is punishing you. Simply go ahead and repent!
You might want to pray this Salvation Prayer.
God could try getting your attention and letting you know that it is impossible to make it without Him (John 15:5)—using the things you're going through. If this is your current situation, you need to get right with God, so that things will start falling into place for you.
Hebrews 12:6 ESVFor the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.
Count it all joy whenever you feel you're undergoing discipline from in God's hands. God disciplines those He loves. His intention is not to destroy but to make you a better person.
- There is always love, forgiveness and mercy manifest in discipline.
- Punishment might be a final judgment which is meant to bring about destruction, but discipline corrects, builds and improves.
- While punishment could turn out fatal, discipline might bring discomfort but it's often harmless.
Parents don't discipline their children because they want to destroy them. But we know that if parents fail to discipline their children, that may lead to their destruction.
As you can see, there is a world of difference between punishment and discipline!
What People Feel It's God's Punishment Could Be The Consequence Of Their Own Actions And Choices
It is not surprising that some humans are often quick to do evil and wait for God to punish them, because they want to tag God “wicked”; they want to blame Him for their misfortunes.
Proverbs 6:16-18 NIVThere are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil.
Some things people go through are as a result of their own wrong choices and actions. If with our feet, we're always quick to rush into evil, we should also be ready for the consequences of doing so. Here is an example in Romans 1:27:
Romans 1:27 BSBLikewise, the men abandoned natural relations with women and burned with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.
The moment people make bad choices or choose to live contrary to God's word, they should take responsibility and naturally expect the consequences. This has nothing to do with God.
Is Pain A Punishment From God
Pain is the product of suffering. So long we currently live in an imperfect world, there is going to be suffering, and there's going to be pain.
Even Christians are not exempt from experiencing pain. The Bible makes us understand that as followers of Jesus Christ, we will go through tribulations:
John 16:33 ESVI have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.
Not just one person is subject to pain in this present world. I believe we're all going through one painful thing or the other.
2 Corinthians 4:8-9 NIVWe are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
The good news is that, God works it all out for our good (Romans 8:28). Pain is not a punishment from God, but God's tool which He is using to bring us into perfection (Ephesians 4:13).
Will God Punish Me For My Past
I understand that some of us might have done terrible things in the past, and it's likely the self-guilt will linger for some time before it goes away.
We must understand the power behind the redemptive work of Christ on the Cross. It's so potent that, when sin is blotted out, it's a done deal! If the Son sets you free, you are free indeed (John 8:36)!
2 Corinthians 5:17 KJVTherefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
If you're genuinely saved, be reminded that God doesn't keep records of your past mistakes. He doesn't remember your past sins, it's all by-gone!
Psalm 103:12 NLTHe has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.
God won't punish you for sins He had already forgiven you. So it is then your responsibility to forgive yourself and move on. Stop living in self-guilt.
Does God Still Punish You After You Repent
Just as I previously stated, God doesn't punish us after we repent. But we should ensure that our repentance is genuine. We also have to harness grace to live a life that pleases God (after we've been forgiven), so that we don't return to our vomit.
What To Say To Someone Who Thinks God Is Punishing Them
If you find anyone around you who thinks God is punishing them, first of all, make sure that they are truly saved. Before letting them know God isn't punishing them, be sure they're not stepping on God's toes.
Don't try to comfort them in their sin, because there is neither comfort nor safety in sin. God's judgment awaits anyone who purposely lives in rebellion towards Him and adamantly refuses to repent.
Revelation 2:23 BSBThen I will strike her children dead, and all the churches will know that I am the One who searches minds and hearts, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds.
The only pathway to gaining God's mercy is through the finished work of Jesus Christ on the Cross. Anyone who fails to appropriate this (in order to gain God's forgiveness and mercy) will be left with no other option than to face God's punishment and judgment.
Final Words On Signs God Is Punishing You
The Bible makes us understand that our God is a jealous God (Exodus 34:14). He simply doesn't like it when anything comes between Himself and us.
God may allow the enemy to touch certain things in our lives—like our material possessions—if we've allowed them to become idols in our lives. This may turn out to look like God is punishing us—but He isn't. It is our idolatry that attracted the consequences we're experiencing.
God will occasionally use a correctional measure on a Christian whenever they go astray. This is often out of love—it's discipline and not punishment. It isn't meant to destroy us. It is meant to get us back on track, so we could focus on and prioritize God and our relationship with Him.
Revelation 3:19 NIVThose whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.
Through discipline, God lovingly turns His rebellious children into obedient ones. We would end up sounding like ungrateful spoiled kids, if we always interpret God's discipline as punishment.
The feeling that God is punishing you may simply be God calling you to repentance. Don't ignore that bidding.
Beloved, I believe you learned something new by reading our article on “signs that God is punishing you”. If you were blessed, go on and share this article with someone else.
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