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The Pleasure in Pain | Bringing Our Pain to God

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
May 18, 2023 3:00 am

The Pleasure in Pain | Bringing Our Pain to God

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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May 18, 2023 3:00 am

There are numerous help lines available for times of crisis. For instance, there’s 988 for those with thoughts of suicide. Or sometimes, there’s personal help available through your church. But today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie points out that we can’t forget the help available from the Lord directly. David cried out to God. Samuel cried out to God. Moses cried out to God as did all of Israel. Today, how to cry out ourselves and how to take our pain directly to the Lord’s throne.

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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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Today's episode of A New Beginning is brought to you by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God.

Learn more at And while you're there, browse our library of free ebooks designed to help you grow in your faith. Sometimes we cry out to the Father in joy. Sometimes we cry out to the Father in anguish. But the key is cry out to the Father. What are you going through today?

Is it challenging? Are you at the end of your rope? Well today, Pastor Greg Laurie urges you to bring it to God. Am I talking to someone here who just heard bad news?

Or am I talking to somebody else here who's heard good news? Whatever it is, your response should be, Ava, Father. There are numerous help lines available for times of crisis.

For instance, there's 988 for those with thoughts of suicide. Or sometimes there's personal help available for your church. But today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie points out that we can't forget the help available from the Lord directly. David cried out to God. Samuel cried out to God. Moses cried out to God as did all of Israel.

Today, how to cry out ourselves and how to take our pain directly to the Lord's throne. How many of you are runners? You love to get out and run, raise your hand up.

Seriously, no wait. How many of you like to run? Anybody? A few of you.

How many of you like to eat donuts? Raise your hand. Now I understand.

Everything makes sense. By the way, I'm with you a little bit there. I don't know about you, but I hate running.

I'll just tell you that straight up. I don't like to go to the gym at all, but I do. And the reason I do is because, well, I need to. It helps me. It strengthens me to do what I need to do.

But now, you know, I don't do the same things I did when I was younger. Now they have exercises where you stand up and sit down. You know, stay mobile, right?

But now seriously though, the thing is I've realized if you don't do this, you're going to pay for it later. You've heard the expression no pain, no gain. In a way, God has a gym.

If you will. And in His gym He breaks things down to build them up. You break muscle down to build muscle up. So I will often go to the gym. I will make up every excuse as to why I don't want to go there. But after I am done, I am glad I went because of the results. And the same is true in the Christian life. There are times when we go through trials and suffering and we don't like it one bit. We go into it kicking and screaming saying, Lord, no, not again.

I don't want this. But afterwards, afterwards we see the results. Hebrews 12-11 from a modern translation says, at the time discipline isn't much fun.

It always feels like it is going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely for it is the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God. You know there is pleasure that can come as a result of pain. There is not a lot of pleasure in pain of course. Now I think a good illustration of this is when a woman gives birth.

I know nothing about this. But for you ladies who have done this, you moms out there, you know that there can be pleasure mixed with pain. There is the pain of course of childbirth. But there is a pleasure of bringing a new life into the world. And so the same is true for us.

God will allow us to go through times of pain to bring forth something far greater. But here is what we need to remember. We are loved by God.

And here is an illustration. Lazarus, Mary, and Martha were friends with Jesus. I don't know about you, but if I had the cell number of Jesus, if I was in an ongoing conversation with Him, we are texting back and forth, we are communicating all the time, I would make sure everybody on earth knew it.

I mean talk about having a friend in high places. Oh yeah Jesus. We are close. And they were close. He came over to their home all the time. Martha was an amazing cook, chef. And Jesus loved to bring His disciples over, spend time with them. So one day Lazarus got sick and they sent word to Jesus, Lord the one that you love is sick.

That was accurate. Lord your buddy, your friend, Lazarus, he is sick. They probably thought he would just get there as quickly as possible and touch Lazarus or speak a word and Lazarus would be healed.

But here is what we read in John 11 five. Now Jesus loved Martha, her sister, and Lazarus. So when He heard that Lazarus was sick He stayed two more days in the place where He was. Huh?

What? Why didn't He rush back and heal Lazarus? It actually says because He loved Lazarus, Mary, and Martha. You see sometimes we feel if God loves us He will get us out of the problem we are in. But sometimes the Lord will allow us to go through it because He has a plan and a purpose to make us stronger.

Why? Because He loves us. And because He wants us to grow up. You see they wanted a healing. Jesus wanted a resurrection. And of course you know Jesus raised Lazarus again from the dead. So here is what we want to remember as we talk a little bit about suffering in this message is that we are loved by God.

Let me take that a step further. God loves you as much as He loves His own beloved Son. Because Jesus said in John 17 23 in His prayer to the Father, Father My prayer is that the world may know that You have sent Me and that You have loved them as much as You love Me. Wow.

That is incredible. You are loved by God. And because you are loved by God He fills you with the Holy Spirit as one of His children.

Bringing me to my first point. Spirit filled people are spiritually minded people. And I think we get really confused when we use the word spirit filled. Sometimes Christians will say to other Christians, Are you spirit filled?

What do you mean by that? You know spirit filled. Well every Christian in a technical sense is spirit filled. Having said that every Christian should also be constantly asking the Lord to fill them, refill them, and fill them again. But sometimes people do weird things in the name of the Holy Spirit. You know you will be talking to them and they will say, Well you know I was just. What was that?

Oh it was the Holy Spirit. It is ok. What? What? What?

Or they will take a strange intonation in the way they speak and they will say, You know I wanted to just say unto thee. What are you doing? It is the Holy Spirit. No it is. No it is.

You are just being weird. That is all it is. It has nothing to do with the Holy Spirit. I think we overly mystify the work of the Spirit and misunderstand it as a result. To be spirit filled in a technical biblical sense means to be spirit controlled. And if you are spirit controlled you want to walk in the Spirit. If you are spirit controlled you want to obey the Spirit. If you are spirit controlled you want to think about the things that the Holy Spirit wants you to think about.

What are those things? They are identified for us right here in Romans chapter 8. But here is what we want to put our focus on right now. There are a lot of things that God has done for us that are revealed in this amazing chapter. And there are four great freedoms that God has given to us.

And I want to identify them for you. Number one there is freedom from judgment. Freedom from judgment. Because Romans 8 one says, There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. After we sin sometimes we beat ourselves up.

It is our way of sort of paying penance for the wrongs we have done. But you don't need to pay your penance. You don't need to atone for your sin. Your sin has already been atoned for at the cross of Calvary. And it has been paid for by Jesus Christ. So when you have sinned and you ask God to forgive you of your sin, He forgives you of your sin. And there is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.

It's freedom from judgment. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. We're hearing from so many people who have been impacted by Pastor Greg's film, Jesus Revolution, like this listener.

Pastor Greg, I just watched Jesus Revolution for the third time. This time it was with my 18 year old granddaughter. She loved it. I had a great conversation with her about God on the way home. While talking with her, I found out that your story, Greg, deeply touched her and she felt a shift in her anger over the death of her mom, my daughter.

God is healing her heart and her spirit. Thank you, Greg. Do you have a story to tell?

If so, would you consider letting us know? Contact Pastor Greg by emailing him That's Well, we're exploring the blessings and benefits of being spiritually minded people today. Pastor Greg is presenting a message called The Pleasure in Pain. Let's continue.

Number two. There is freedom from defeat. There is no obligation to serve sin as your master. Look at Romans 8.12. Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature tells you to do. See, before we were Christians, Satan had us on a choke chain.

And we pretty much did what he wanted us to do. Do you know what a choke chain is? You put them on dogs. They are very tight. You pull on it.

Yeah. The dog will pretty much do what you want when you pull on that choke chain. Far more than a leash, by the way. If you really want to train a dog, a choke chain is pretty effective. A while ago I decided I wanted to maybe get a new dog. Now I have had a couple of German Shepherds over the years and I was thinking of maybe a German Shepherd. But there is a guy in our church that trains dogs. Some of them are trained for the police. And he has had this really cool dog.

It was an adult. It was trained already. But this is the kind of dog I had never seen before. It is called a Malinois. Do you know what a Malinois is? A Malinois is like a German Shepherd that has been working out at the gym.

Ok. They are just like. It is a German Shepherd on steroids. It is like next level of German Shepherd. They are used a lot by police.

They are even used by the SEAL team. So he brings this very trained dog with a lot of energy to me. And I said, wow. I don't know. That might be too much dog for me.

I said, this is kind of a weird request. But can I keep the dog overnight and just kind of take it for a test drive? He says, absolutely. So he brings the dog over and it is kennel and he shows me the commands for the dog that are in German or something like that. And here is how you control the dog. And here is the choke chain.

You pull on this chain and ok so I have got it all down. And so I take the dog out for a walk. And so the dog is doing its business.

Right. So I am looking at it and then I pull my phone out and I am checking something and I look back and the dog is gone. The switched on German Shepherd on steroids is gone.

And it is not on the choke chain. It is running full speed toward another dog. So I am like running as fast as I can.

I feel like I am running in slow motion. You know just because this dog is so fast by the time I get there it is a full dog fight going on. So I grab the Malinois on a headlock. I grab the top of his jaw with my left hand. The bottom of his jaw with my right hand. And I push his mouth shut. And I grab the choke chain.

Pull it around his neck. Take him back home. Pick up the phone. I call the guy back and I said, you can come pick your dog up. I said, this is too much dog for me. I need a station wagon. Not a Ferrari. Ok. Then I asked him, do you have any Labradoodles?

I really didn't. But how many of you have a Labradoodle? I don't know if really a person should have a dog with the name Doodle in it.

Ok. It is bad enough to be a poodle. But a doodle. A Labradoodle. Right.

This is a whole new thing with all these dogs they are breeding now. And there are variations on it. I actually looked it up. I was curious. Are there other doodles?

Yes. You can breed a miniature schnauzer and a miniature poodle. This actually happens and they call them schnoodles. And then you can actually breed a Wheaton Terrier and a poodle and it is called a woodle. Ok. Let me just say if you have a woodle you would be better off having a cat. There I said it. It is just true. Come on.

No woodles. I have to admit this to you. I know you all think I hate cats. But actually I kind of have a cat now. I do. I sort of have a cat.

Let me explain. He is not actually my technical cat but he comes to my house pretty much every day because I give him milk. And then he sits on my chair. Sometimes he walks in my house.

It is like here is my cat. I would take him over and oodle any day of the week. He is kind of cool. He is a cool cat.

I like him. He will let me pet him sometimes. And then cats are so weird. You will be petting him and everything is cool and all of a sudden they are gone. Like what happened?

What is going on in the cat brain? Off he goes. I will see him the next day. He wants more milk.

And he is very picky. We had some coconut milk. I didn't buy it. But it was in my fridge so I gave it to him. He wouldn't drink the coconut milk.

I was like are you serious? Do you think I am drinking that? Give that to the oodle. Ok. The oodle of the woodle of the poodle.

They will drink that stuff all day long. Not me. So anyway I dig grass. I have no idea what I am even talking about anymore. Choke chains.

That is where we started. So now this dog, this malinois went to a new owner that loves the dog and trains the dog. He doesn't even need a choke chain. He just tells the dog what to do. The dog does. The dog just looks up at him.

I will walk over to the dog sometimes and say, hi remember me? I was your master for one day. He is like pfft. Yeah. Right.

You are such a loser. He is looking back up at us. What master master? What what what master? He loves his master so much he doesn't even need a choke chain. And that is our relationship with God. We follow Him because we want to.

Not because we have to. Satan had us on the choke chain. We follow the Lord out of desire. And that is what Christ has done for each of us. We are not forced by the Spirit. We are led by the Spirit.

By the way first service they clap for that. I don't know what your problem is. Ok. No.

No. It is too late. It is too late. It is too late Oodle people. I know some of you are traumatized by the cat revelation.

I have to own it. It is true. Here is another point. We have access to God. Romans 8 15. You did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear. You have received the spirit of adoption by whom you cry out Abba Father.

The Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God and of children and heirs, underline the word heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ. I love the fact that Paul tells us that we can say Abba Father. This has no reference to the band Abba. Abba.

No dancing queen here. Abba is the Hebrew version of daddy or papa. If you go to Israel today you will even see small little children saying to their father Abba and they will call their mother Ima. But it is an affectionate word. It is not like father. It is more like daddy. And there is an intimacy implied there.

So it is a relationship. A special relationship a parent has with their children and I might add their grandchildren. When your child calls you you hear it. They will say daddy or papa or mommy or mama and you will respond because that is your child.

The same is true as I said for your grandchildren. This is the kind of relationship we have with God. We can call out to Him. Sometimes it is a cry of delight. Papa look what I found. Look what I did.

Look what I drew. And you need to pay attention and show your delight. And sometimes it is a cry of pain. Help Abba Father I am in trouble. Jesus did this very thing in the Garden of Gethsemane. Over in Matthew 14 we read that He came to this olive grove called Gethsemane. He said to His disciples, sit here while I pray. And then we read He was deeply troubled and distressed. And He said, My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and watch with Me. He went a little distance from them and He prayed these words Abba Father.

If it is possible let this cup pass from Me. Nevertheless not My will but Yours be done. So sometimes we cry out to the Father in joy. Sometimes we cry out to the Father in anguish. But the key is cry out to the Father. Am I talking to someone here who just heard bad news? Whose soul is crushed with grief?

Or am I talking to somebody else here who has heard good news? Whatever it is your response should be Abba Father. And notice here He tells us that we are not only adopted. Not only can we say Abba Father but we are heirs. Look at verse 16 of Romans 8.

The Spirit pairs witness with our spirit. We are children of God and of children than heirs. And heirs with God and joint-heirs with Christ. In ancient times the firstborn son was the heir.

He would get the lion's share of the estate more than the second and third born and so forth. So what the Bible is saying is you are not only a child of God you are an heir. You are in a firstborn son position relationally with God. This is a very special thing that God has done for each of us. And then we read in verse 16 the Spirit pairs witness with our spirit that we are the children of God. Here is the amazing thing. To me my relationship with God feels like I am the only one He is doing this with. Have you ever felt as though you were God's favorite child? And you know this is amazing.

Many of us feel this way and it is because you are. But wait a second. How can you have Saul as a favorite child?

Because he is God and he can do that. You know we wonder when we are kids who grow up you know was I mom or dad's favorite. I will even hear adult siblings arguing about that. I was dad's favorite.

No I was dad's favorite. You are all God's favorite. And he works among us individually and it seems as though we are the only one He is doing this with. But at the same time He is working with us corporately and we are all loved by God. This is an incredible thing that He does for each of us. Such encouraging perspective today from Pastor Greg Laurie. We are loved by God. We are heirs of God. And there is more insight to come in this message here on A New Beginning.

It is a study called The Pleasure in Pain. You know Pastor Greg our radio program has heard on hundreds and hundreds of stations across the country. And I have had the privilege of getting to know a number of the station managers of those radio stations. And I have gotten to know a gentleman named Rick McClary quite well.

Rick just retired just recently but he was the general manager of a couple of stations in Minnesota that carried our radio program. And he sent me an email after watching Jesus Revolution and I wanted to share it with you. He said please pass on to Pastor Greg how much I appreciated the movie Jesus Revolution. You might remember when the book came out I was also intercepted during the Jesus movement. I wound up helping to run a Jesus people home in Fargo, North Dakota. I was baptized in a lake with a dozen other ex-hippies. It was an incredible experience. Anyway during the baptism scene in the movie I cried.

It brought back so many memories of that time. Eleven years later the Lord led me into broadcasting and then I retired 40 plus years later in 2021. Please thank Greg for his obedience in following the Lord these many years later. Wow well thank you very much for that and God bless you and the Jesus movement went all across the country. It wasn't just in Southern California but so many people say their favorite scene is when my character Greg a very young Greg played by Joel Courtney powerful performance finally accepts Christ and is baptized.

Now I know this is radio and I can't show you how powerful it is visually but I think as you just listen you'll be able to see it in your mind's eyes. So let me set the scene. Greg and Kathy are at Pirates Cove which is a little beach in Newport. Kathy has just been baptized. Greg has heard the gospel at this point but he hasn't made his commitment to Christ so he a bit reluctantly walks out into the water and there he is greeted by Lonnie Frisbee played by Jonathan Rumi Best known for playing the role of Jesus in The Chosen and they have some words together and a prayer takes place.

Listen to this. Greg right? Yeah.

I've been praying for this moment since I first met you. Have you decided? Um I don't know. You want to decide right now? Yeah.

Yeah I do. And pray with me. Lord Jesus I know I'm a sinner. Lord Jesus I know I'm a sinner. You are the savior of the world.

You a savior of the word. I ask you to come into my life. I ask you to come into my life. I repent for my sins. I repent for all my sins. And I accept you as my Lord and Savior my God and friend. And I accept you as my Lord and Savior my God and my friend. In Jesus name. In Jesus name. Amen. Greg I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Amen. I want you to see that scene and here's how it's going to happen. I want to send you a DVD of the Jesus Revolution movie. You'll see that scene and many others that will move you in a significant way. I have seen this film with many audiences around the country and individuals sitting in my front room and elsewhere and so many times people tear up.

It's a flashback for some. They remember their baptism but we've had other people say I want to be baptized. I heard one story of when this film was shown in a theater some people wanted to come to Christ and be baptized and they literally baptized him in the fountain outside of the theater.

So this these stories are crazy that we're hearing. They're amazing and so I want to send you a special edition of the Jesus Revolution on DVD. It has bonus content including a custom message that we shot on the beach as the sun was setting in Newport Beach where I present the gospel and it even has a prayer that a person could pray to accept Christ and there's some other special features on this DVD we'll send you for your gift of any size. Now I'm going to ask you to be more generous than normal because we do have to pay more for this resource and so we're trusting that you will send a generous gift to us so we can continue to preach the gospel and teach the word of God right here on A New Beginning. Yeah and we do appreciate your partnership with us that makes these daily studies possible. So get in touch today for your DVD of Jesus Revolution and we'll also include a free streaming code. Call us anytime at 1-800-821-3300.

That's 1-800-821-3300 or go online to Well next time more insight for spirit-led believers and how the Lord equips us and walks with us through the pain and heartache of life. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher Greg Lord. Hey everybody thanks for listening to A New Beginning. This is a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners so for more content that can help you know God and equip you to make him known to others or to learn more about how you can become a Harvest Partner just go to
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-18 05:04:22 / 2023-05-18 05:14:48 / 10

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