Proverbs 3:11-12 My child, don't reject the Lord's discipline, and don't be upset when he corrects you. for the Lord corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in who he delights.
I don't know all the ways God corrects us...but I do know that sin separates us from God.... being separated from God is surly a punishment because we so much need God in our lives, and in all that we do, we need God to hear our prayers.... Just as we send our kids off to their rooms when they have been bad... God doesn't hear our prayers when we have unforgiven sin in our lives. Unforgiven sin is the key words here... Jesus died for us so that we could be forgiven... but we have to ask for that forgiveness.... you might say why do we have to ask, and keep asking?... we can't do better if we don't know what we have done wrong in the first place... sometimes we know what we have done wrong but we ignore it.... sometimes we are so ashamed that we ignore it and hope it goes away... sometimes we are so caught up in worldly things that we aren't even aware of what we have done wrong.... and God has to say "Go to your room and be separated from me until you figure it out." So when we feel God not answering our prayers we don't need to be angry at God, instead we need to call out to God and say "God please tell me what I have done wrong so that I can ask for your forgiveness." Now this may not always be pleasant...sometimes the answers to what you are doing wrong can make you feel anxious, or stressed, or guilty. But we can get rid of all of that by saying "God please forgive me for ______________." God is quick to forgive. God doesn't keep us away from him to be unkind...it is to be kind... if we are not aware of our sin we can't make our lives better by doing better. If we don't know we have done wrong we don't know to stop... God separates us from him because he loves us so much that he wants us to have a better life and to have a better life we have to be aware of what is that we do to contribute to what is wrong in our life, God loves us enough to tell us those things. Our part is to ask. God loves rewarding us, God loves blessing us. We can know this because Jesus said "I come so that you might have life and have it more abundantly." (John 10:10) So today, everyday if you feel yourself being separated from God ... if you feel like God is not answering your prayers... don't get angry with God... stop and ask God what you have done that separates you from him and say I am sorry God for __________... please forgive me." That forgiveness feels like a warm wonderful hug, just like one of those hugs you give your kids when they get to come out of their room... you have missed them, you are glad to see them... God misses you when you are separated from him... he loves hugging you up with his love and forgivness.