Can we talk about pain in our life? What is our default response to pain and suffering?
When the heat gets turned up people default to some innate responses:
• melt down emotionally
• connive or play your angles
• stoic logical problem solving
We need to take a deep breath and return to the Lord.
Your pain and suffering challenges the authority of God. It can cause us to turn from the Lord to your own devices. But that is the very moment that we need to remain connected to the Lord.
Prayer connects us back to the one we are following. We have our own desires. Satan has a plan he wants us to follow. But when we pray like Jesus we are giving order to the world. When we pray like Jesus we are letting God be God.
REMEMBER: there is a patterned way to God’s work. We call it “the way of the cross”. We talked about this a bit last week.
2 Corinthians 1:8–10 NIV
8 We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. 9 Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10 He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us,
2 Corinthians 4:7–11 NIV
7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body.
Philippians 3:10–11 NIV
10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
So here we are in the middle of this pattern… motif. It is the darkest moment that these men would have experienced up to this point in their life. And Jesus tells them to pray so that they will not fall into temptation.
I can hear the objection already: But pastor, I see these preachers on the TV that say God wants me to be blessed, healthy and rich. I just need to have a little more faith or I need to sow financially so that I can reap.
Dear brother or sister, that preacher is confused and mixing up over God’s plan on earth with God’s eternal plan in heaven.
Jesus promised trial and persecution here on earth. The blessings, health and wealth are waiting for us in glory.
You and I are called to follow Jesus and the path has a cross and a resurrection.
• Maybe you are buried in the grave because of a relationship
• Maybe you are buried through a health diagnosis
• Maybe you are buried through a career change
• Maybe you are buried through a financial obligation
Jesus instructions to his disciples are his instructions to you this morning: pray so that you will not fall into temptation.
Are you buried under the weight of guilt or a impossible circumstance. Come and talk with the God who turns the worst day into the best day. The God who raises the dead. The God who crushes our enemies. He wants you to talk with him in prayer.