"As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten..." ~ Revelation 8:19
This may seem a hard saying. But the glorified Jesus Christ said it, and if we really look deep into the gleaming heart of this "red stone" we see great joy there for all of us. I [Eugenia Price, the author] don't believe it means only that God's love for you can be measured by the amount of suffering in your life, as so many seem to think. This is relevant, but more thrilling and more meaningful to me is the fact that He only punishes by love!
God never punishes by any means but love. If only we could ask Peter about this personally!
"Simon, Simon ... I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not." Yet in spite of the fact that the Lord was praying for him, Peter swore violently and denied Jesus three times. I'd like to ask Peter about the rebuke and chastening of the Lord Jesus. Peter would know. Because "... while he [Peter] yet spake, the cock crew. And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. ... And Peter went out and wept bitterly." In the Lord's look was disappointment, yes, but also love. Otherwise Peter would not have wept. If the Lord had spoken harshly to him, Peter might have sworn again. He had been known to argue with Jesus. But the Lord "punished" him the only way that heals. With love.
"... God is love ... God is love..."