First, we ask: "Do I have a guilty conscience? Do I have a heartache because of my behaviors or thoughts?" Then immediately follow 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” Jesus’ blood covers your sins and you will receive forgiveness. Believe it.
However, God will then “purify us from all unrighteousness.” How does He do this? Sometimes it is with education. We study and we learn God’s will. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16,17.
Sometimes we need to receive experiences to teach us to love righteousness and to hate iniquity (in ourselves). God may permit us to be re-tempted or re-tried along the same experience in which we failed to do HIs will. This will give us the opportunity (or opportunities) to follow the right course and to glorify Him. Our overcoming the issue will crystalize our characters and grow the fruit of the spirit.
Other times, we have more willfully disobeyed God. Yes, it is doubtless in part due to the weakness of our flesh, but it is still willful disobedience. Then we will receive difficult experiences in order to subdue the flesh. These painful lessons teach us to turn to God to receive comfort and love. Even though the discipline may be difficult to bear, God is ALWAYS there to comfort us. God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you,” Hebrews 13:5.
Discipline is a learning experience, not necessarily a punishment. Just as practicing scales on a piano is a discipline (not a punishment), so too with our lives. We are learning and growing in Christlikeness daily. Remember Jesus, Himself, learned obedience by suffering. Hebrews 5:8, “He (Jesus) learned obedience from the things which He suffered.” Therefore let us remember, “the Lord disciplines the one he loves and punishes every son he receives,” Hebrews 12:6. Be thankful to receive instruction.