Some of the ills which beset us in this life, are just part of the mortal experience. The holiest of men and women still suffer aches, pains and sorrows.
Other miseries we bring upon ourselves. These adversities result when we turn from God and pull out from beneath the shelter of His protection. It is then that the consequences of our foolishness can be described as divine chastening.
"Chasten" in Hebrew transliterates to "yacar" and can carry the meaning of not just punishment but instruction. God never lashes out in blind rage as we mortals sometimes do. He wants to teach us, that we might choose to return to Him. As scripture says, He takes no pleasure in our death. Therefore can the Psalmist sing, in great relief:
"The Lord hath chastened me sore but he hath not given me over to death." (Psalms 118:18).