Forty Years of Wandering
What are we to make of the suffering of a Christian? We learn that suffering has meaning. Somehow, it is for the good of God’s people. Verse 5 gives us this perspective:
Know then in your heart that, as a man disciplines his son, the Lord your God disciplines you.
Discipline is training. With plants, you call it pruning, which is necessary for the plant to grow up healthy and beautiful and to fit with the rest of the plants in the garden. God is doing that with His people through their time in the wilderness.
How so? Three things suffering does for you: it shows you what is in your heart; teaches you that man does not live by bread alone; and it prepares you to possess the land.