“But judgment shall return unto righteousness: and all the upright in heart shall follow it.” (Psalm 94:15)
There are times when it’s obvious we’re getting what we deserve. We are reaping what we’ve sown. But at other times we cannot connect the dots. There is no clear line between what we’ve done and what is happening to us. It is then we are left in wonderment. Perhaps we do need to examine ourselves as David did in Psalm 139: “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23,24) But it could very well be that what is happening to us is not the result of some sin. Like Job, our conscience does not accuse us, and we need God’s explanation as to what is going on.
God’s chastening upon His children is not always corrective punishment; it is often preventative discipline. He would keep us from pride, so he would humble us with some “thorn in the flesh.” The judgment we experience appears to be of the same sort experienced by the wicked; and so we may, like Job, be charged with evil-doing. But the Lord knows His reasons for chastening the children He delights in. He purges every branch that is bringing forth fruit that we might bring forth more. He wants us to become partakers of His holiness.
The judgment of God condemns the wicked, but in the lives of His beloved children it results in the “peaceable fruit of righteousness.” Like Job, to the eyes of men, the innocent can appear guilty, getting the punishment they deserve; but God has only one intention in mind: to perfect you through the things you suffer. Let judgment “return unto righteousness.”