Matthew 5:10: “Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
If we aren’t being persecuted, we are doing something wrong. More likely, we are not doing something that we should: sharing. Are we yielding ourselves to God to be used by bringing this Good News (the Gospel) to others, both by our examples and our words. Remember that we all have wonderful gifts from God whether we perceive ourselves as weak, strong or in between. Always remember that God never wastes a hurt! And, He will not waste yours. The Bible shows us that God often does His Best Work through weak people.
WHY DOES GOD ALLOW PAIN: Here are the Big Four Reasons.
GOD HAS GIVEN US FREE WILL: We are created in His Own Image. This gives us the freedom to choose. We can choose right or wrong, good or bad, life or death. We can accept God or reject Him. Our free will is a blessing and a burden. We often choose what we perceive as pleasure over pain; however, that pleasure can cause immense pain to us and others, and our relationship with God. But, it is our choice! Our choices can hurt others, and others’ choices can hurt us. Pain is part of the free-will package.
GOD USES PAIN TO GET OUR ATTENTION: Pain is not your problem! It is a symptom, a warning light. It tells us something is wrong, and you have to do something about it.
GOD USES PAIN TO TEACH US TO DEPEND ON HIM: You will never know that God is all you need until God is all you’ve got! When you are falling apart, at a bottom, lost is all, that’s when you can clearly see the only One who is remaining besides you. This is POWERLESSNESS, and only God is the way out. “The suffering you sent was good for me, for it taught me to pay attention to your principles:” Psalms 119:71.
GOD ALLOWS PAIN TO GIVE US A MINISTRY TO OTHERS: Pain prepares us to serve others. It makes us humble, empathic, sympathetic, and compassionate (sensitive) to others’ needs. Everyone needs recovery of same type. The four major areas of everyone are mental, physical, emotional and spiritual. No one is going to be perfect in all 4 areas very long. When we are hurting, we need someone who has had a similar hurt, hangup or habit to help us, to share their struggles, their experiences, their strength and their hope with us. This is recycling the pain in our lives to help others. Remember the story of Joseph in the old testament. Betrayed by his brothers, sold into slavery, accused of all Egypt and saved Egypt and other countries from the great famine. Then he confronts his brother who betrayed him, and what does he say? In forgiveness, “You meant to hurt me, but God turned your evil into good.” Genesis 50:20.
HOW CAN WE USE OUR PAIN TO HELP OTHERS? ACCEPT YOUR MISSION: It is called the “GREAT COMMISSION!” “Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and Holy Spirit.” Matthew 28:19. We are on earth to share the GOOD NEWS, the GOSPEL of Jesus Christ! Sometimes we do it by storytelling. Sharing our struggles, intervening on those who are hurting and at a bottom. Followers and disciples of Christ have a responsibility to share in the problems and troubles of other people.
TELL YOUR STORY: It is a good practice to write your story out.
1. Be humble. Your story is one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread. Get your EGO out of the way. Remember the road to Healing is a life long journey! You are never finished just because you are getting it together now.
2. Be real. Be honest about your hurts and faults. To thy own self be true! Open up, be transparent. Let us know you!
3. Don’t lecture. You cannot argue or force people into heaven with your power. Remember you may be the only Bible people some people will ever read! God wants you to be a witness, not a defense attorney.
CONSIDER YOUR BENEFICIARIES : Who benefits from your story? Others going through what you have been through. People who need to know Christ and the freedom found in Him and who need to understand the eight choices that go with the Beatitudes. How wonderful it will be to meet a brother or sister in Heaven, and they tell you ” Thank you for telling me your story. I’m here because of you!” Tell your story because everyone needs to move from darkness to the Light of Jesus Christ!
NOTE: I hope you have enjoyed these posts for the last eight days. They were taken from outlines we used at a retreat this weekend at Angola. My senior pastor wants to do a sermon from at least one of these and my wife asked me if I wrote them. Apparently there were no typos and the posts were “good.” If I get my confidence back any time soon, I will post something. Until then, be blessed.