Tuesday, January 31, 2012

God and Your Pain

No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.1 Cor 10:13 (NASB)

Our culture is one of avoiding pain.  It seems that every other commercial on television is one for pain relief of some kind!  Some of these are legitimate but I see far too many ad’s for things to relieve a person of a non-physical aspect of pain.

No one that I know of desires to be in pain; in fact, people who inflict pain on themselves are considered to be strange or even mentally unbalanced. For most people pain is undesirable and to be avoided at all costs.  This is evident in our society as abuse of alcohol and other drugs is increasing yearly. So many people are looking for relief from their emotional or mental pain and torment that prescriptions for psychotropic medications are at an all-time high!  Friends, this is not the answer.

I am not speaking from the position of a person who has no problems or troubles in life. In recent years I have experienced great pain and loss of things and people who I loved deeply.  Personal circumstances could have rendered me useless to God and to others if I would have allowed them to. By God’s grace and mercy I did not.

If you are like me, there may be times in your life where you believe you cannot bear what is happening. You think the strain is just too much and that you will crack under the heavy load that you must bear.  Maybe you cry out, “Stop it! I cannot take another thing happening to me!”  You may really think this is the case.

The truth is that in Christ we are equipped to endure the trials that come into our lives.

you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.1 Peter 1:5-9 (NASB)

You may not like your trials and want to run away from them, but I encourage you to accept them and even by God’s grace embrace them, for they are His means to perfect you. He is using them to whittle away the rough spots of your character and conform you to Christ’s image and likeness.

I completely understand that some of you are facing unimaginable heartache today. You may have a wayward child, an adulterous husband, a loved one who is dying from a horrible disease. You may be ill and weak and physically miserable right now, sick with cancer or some life changing ailment.  I want you to know that even in this, God has enabled you to stand, because He stands with you.

He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,” 6so that we confidently say, “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What will man do to me?” Heb. 13:5-6 (NASB)

Do you believe God is faithful? 
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; Hebrews 10:23 (NASB)

How has He demonstrated His faithfulness to you today? Think for a few minutes on all the ways that God has shown Himself to be a faithful God.

Do you believe God can be trusted?
But as for me, I trust in You, O LORD,  I say, “You are my God.” My times are in Your hand; Deliver me from the hand of my enemies and from those who persecute me. Make Your face to shine upon Your servant; Save me in Your lovingkindness. Psalm 31:14-16 (NASB)

The Psalms are a great place to go to when you need the encouragement of God’s trustworthiness.  There are more Psalms than I can possibly list that speak of God’s faithfulness and trustworthiness.  The men and women of the Old Testament found themselves in some major trouble spots and learned that God was trustworthy, faithful and true.

Do you believe that God is good?
The LORD is good to all, And His mercies are over all His works. Psalm 145:9 (NASB)

Be cautious to never deny the goodness of the Lord. To do so is to defame God’s character.  Do not believe the lies of the enemy as he seeks to fool you into believing that God somehow wants to withhold goodness from you.

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