I've been in Lamentations the past couple of days. God's people had rebelled--again--and forgotten His great deliverance and continual provision. They are portrayed as being in adultery. And God's anger arose. Why? Because this was His chosen people. He created out of love and knew their intricate design. He knew His children would only be truly blessed through obedience.
Because He loves, He disciplines--desiring to draw His own back into His boundaries of truth and peace. But discipline does not bring Him delight. "For the Lord will not cast off forever. Though He causes grief, yet He will show compassion according to the multitude of His mercies. For He does not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men." (3:31-33) He disciplines His own because He loves.
The author of Lamentations--probably Jeremiah--realizes the multitude of God's compassions, even in the midst of desolate discipline, "You drew near on the day I called to You, and said, 'Do not fear!'" (3:57) Once he turned and called out to his Father, the Father responded--on that very day.
Discipline pains, but God does not delight in our hurt. His desire is that His own come back to the place of ultimate blessing--in fellowship with their Holy Father. Great is Your faithfulness.