Wednesday, December 2, 2015
Your Biggest Pain
I have a friend who experienced a rather nasty divorce. What does she do now? She is a marriage counselor. I have another friend who slept around when he was in college. Now he speaks to others, advising them not to do what HE did. Another friend of mine was addicted to porn. What does he do now? He is a youth pastor and leads a young men's purity study. Are you sensing a pattern?
Jesus told us, "In this world we will have trouble." I think He knew what He was talking about.
"32 Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. 33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” - John 16:32-33
We all will have trouble. Jesus promised us that. Why? Why would Jesus tell us that we all will struggle? I'll tell you why. Because this life we are living right now is being lived in one big classroom. All of the struggles we will be going through in life are part of God's curriculum.
The first reaction people have to this news is a negative one. Why would God do that to us? How COULD He do that to us? As always, the answer is in scripture.
"27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified." - Romans 8:27-30
Read verse 28 again slowly. Lots of good stuff in there.
"28 And we know that for those who love God . . .
For those who love God . . . who is that? Well, that is you and me . . . hopefully. You DO love God, don't you?
. . . all things work together for good, . . .
All things, ALL things. The good AND the bad, the happy and the sad. ALL things work together for good. How can our biggest hurt in life "work together for good?" Verse 29.
"For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son,"
This testing, these trials we undergo, are all part of our training. God is watching us. God is testing us. He is training and shaping us into the image of Jesus. Why? To turn us into Godly men and women, to prepare us for future battles and trials. He tests us and challenges us because He loves us.
"18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." - Romans 8:18
Praise God in your trials, praise His through the pain. Because, on the other side of our pain is the holy love of Christ, waiting for us. He is waiting to smile at us as we emerge a stronger, braver, more determined soul, better capable of withstanding the battles yet to come.
Praise You In This Storm - Casting Crowns
Cornerstone - Hillsong United