When caring parents discipline their children, they will love them when the discipline is over. When God’s people long ago disobeyed His covenant, they experienced severe punishment. Yet God promised that when His discipline was over, He would bless them. In Zephaniah chapter 3 we read what God said His people could expect when their discipline ended. God said He would bless not only those few who repented, but the nation’s blessings would overflow to the entire world. We read this: “Then I will purify the speech of all people, so that everyone can worship the LORD together. My scattered people who live beyond the rivers of Ethiopia will come to present their offerings. On that day you will no longer need to be ashamed, for you will no longer be rebels against me. I will remove all proud and arrogant people from among you. There will be no more haughtiness on my holy mountain. Those who are left will be lowly and humble, for it is they who trust in the name of the LORD.” The principle God followed dealing with His people of old still holds today. God disciplines His children for a purpose—to refine our character so that we will fulfill His purposes. But when discipline is passed, God fills us with unspeakable joy.
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