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The Pleasure in Pain | Finding Comfort in Pain

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
May 19, 2023 3:00 am

The Pleasure in Pain | Finding Comfort in Pain

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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May 19, 2023 3:00 am

The human body contains over 1200 pain receptors. Per inch! They’re meant to warn us so we don’t hurt ourselves. But when they all start singing in unison, it’s a chorus that just can’t be ignored. Emotional pain often can’t be ignored either. So where can we go, what can we do to find relief? Pastor Greg Laurie addresses that important question today on A NEW BEGINNING. We’ll see our God has the soothing balm we need to get us through and bring us victory.

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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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Hey, everybody. You're listening to A New Beginning, which is a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners. If this program has impacted you, I'd love to hear from you. So just send an email to me at gregg.harvest.org. Again, it's gregg.harvest.org.

You can learn more about becoming a Harvest Partner by going to harvest.org. Everybody suffers in life, but here's the big difference we don't want to miss. It is only the Christian who can know that God is ultimately in control. It is only the Christian who knows that God can work all things together for good.

And it is only the Christian that has the Holy Spirit helping them through their times of hardship. Amazing grace, how sweet the sound. Again, you hear all the angels are singing.

This is the day, the day where life begins. The human body contains over 1,200 pain receptors per inch. They're meant to warn us so we don't hurt ourselves.

But when they all start singing in unison, it's a chorus we just can't ignore. Emotional pain often can't be ignored either. So where can we go?

What can we do to find relief? Pastor Greg Laurie addresses that important question today here on A New Beginning. Well, see, our God has the soothing balm we need to get us through and to bring us victory. Well, let's all grab our Bibles and turn to one of the greatest chapters in all of Scripture, Romans chapter 8. There's a lot of things that God has done for us that are revealed in this amazing chapter. And there's four great freedoms that God has given to us.

And I want to identify them for you. Number one, there's freedom from judgment. Freedom from judgment because Romans 8.1 says, there is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.

Number two, there's freedom from defeat. There's 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.

Here's another point. We have access to God. Romans 8.15, you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear. You've 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 then 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. 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's an affectionate word. It's not like father. It's more like Daddy.

And there's an intimacy implied there. 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 bears witness with our spirit. We're children of God and of children then heirs and heirs with God and joint heirs with Christ. We have all of these things given to us by God.

Why would anyone not want to become a Christian? God will forgive you of all of your sin. He'll adopt you as his own child. You will have access to his throne and his presence 24-7. You have the guaranteed hope that you'll go to heaven when you die.

But I have to be honest. There's something else that comes along with this Christian life. Christians will suffer in life but God will be with us. Christians will suffer in life but God will be with us.

Yes. In one way the battle is over. Our battle with God. We're no longer fighting with him. Now we're surrendering to him.

But ah. A new battle has begun. With the devil. With the world. With the flesh. The Bible tells us. Verse 17. If indeed we suffer with him we will be glorified together for I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory that will be revealed in us. Some might read that and say, well I didn't sign up for this. I don't do suffering.

Really? Then you don't do Christianity my friend because the Bible says all that live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. Trials. Hardships.

Difficulties. And yes even suffering will come into every believer's life. James tells us in chapter 1 verse 2, count it all joy when you fall into various trials. He did not say count it all joy if. No it's not if. It's when.

It's just a matter of when it's going to happen. I love a modern translation of James 1 that says, consider it a sheer gift friends when tests and challenges come at you from all sides you know that under pressure your faith is going to be forced into the open and show its true color. Sometimes people say I am going through a hardship right now that is so bad I am losing my faith. I am losing my religion.

Good. Lose your religion and replace it with relationship with God. And listen to this. The faith that cannot be tested is a faith that cannot be trusted. So if your faith is so weak that it can't stand a test then maybe it's not real faith anyway. That's the whole point. Real Christians will have their faith strengthened through hardship not weakened through it.

You break it down to build it up as I was saying in the beginning. If you live a godly life you will suffer in one way shape or form. But we ask why? Why does a Christian have to suffer? I get why a nonbeliever suffers. They break the laws of God. They thumb their nose at God. They do all these bad things. Yeah you know they suffer and maybe they deserve to but why me? I try to do everything God tells me to do.

Well here is why. Because if you are loved by God you are going to be hated by someone else and that someone else is called the devil. The devil hates what God loves. And you are truly loved by God.

But don't miss the promise if we suffer together we will be glorified. Well there is no better example of this than the story of Job. Old Job. You wonder did Job ever know he was going to become the go to illustration for suffering? By the way it is the oldest book of the Bible. Job was written even before Genesis.

Did he ever in his wildest dreams know that he would be the guy we would talk about? Job. And poor Job. He never read the book of Job. He didn't know how the story ended.

He lived it in real time. Of course we know how the Lord blessed him in the end but we know that it started when God was bragging on Job in heaven. And the devil brought a series of attacks against Job and his family and his health and his possessions. That the Lord allowed for his purposes. But then we ask but why did this happen?

Job himself gives the answer in Job 23 10. He says of God, He knows the way that I take and when he has tested me I will come forth as gold. Why is this happening to you? Why are you going through this hardship? So you will come forth as gold. So your faith will get stronger.

So you will become more like Jesus. God is getting us ready for heaven. Suffering reminds us that earth is not our home. Heaven is. In fact suffering prepares us for heaven.

Suffering and pain cause us to not depend on ourselves but instead depend on God. You say but why doesn't God stop it? Well sometimes he does. Sometimes he does. There is nothing wrong with saying Lord stop it.

He might answer that prayer in the affirmative. Remember the disciples on the Sea of Galilee. They were cruising along. A big storm came. They are freaking out. They think they are going to die. Jesus is asleep. They wake him up. Lord we are going to perish.

What are you doing? Jesus walks right up there in the deck of the boat. Looks out of that storm and says, Peace be still. And that could actually be translated peace be muzzled. We are talking to a wild dog. Not an oodle.

A Malinois kind of dog you know. Peace be muzzled. Stops. Sometimes he will stop the storm. And other times he will be with us through the storm for there are many instances where the storm raged but he was with them through it as well. But here is the thing to remember. Everybody suffers.

Everybody has pain in life. I don't care how rich they are. How famous they are.

How beautiful or handsome they are. Whoever they are. Wherever they are. Everybody suffers in life. The Bible says the rain falls on the just and the unjust. Christians die in automobile accidents. Just like nonbelievers do. Christians get cancer just like nonbelievers do. Christians get old just like nonbelievers do.

We go through the same things but here is the big difference we don't want to miss. It is only the Christian who can know that God is ultimately in control. It is only the Christian who knows that God can work all things together for good. It is only the Christian who knows that we will one day be rewarded in heaven.

And it is only the Christian that has the Holy Spirit helping them through their times of hardship. Pastor Greg Warre will have the second half of his message in just a moment. Well Pastor Greg is offering some biblical perspective on suffering today in our study of Romans chapter 8. The title of today's message, The Pleasure in Pain.

Let's continue. Next point, we are not alone in our suffering. We are not alone in our suffering. Look at verse 26 of chapter 8. Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weaknesses. We don't know what we should pray for as we ought but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings that cannot be uttered. He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. The Holy Spirit of God is the most misunderstood member of the Trinity. There is a lot I could say about us but here is what Scripture is telling us. He enters into our suffering with us.

He does this with groanings too deep for words. Verse 27. Now the Bible tells us that Jesus is on the right hand of God interceding for us. And now Romans 8 tells us the Holy Spirit is interceding for us according to the will of God. You say I don't understand that. Hey I don't either. But I am sure glad it is happening.

Aren't you? Charles Swindollon in his commentary on Romans said this and I quote, The greater the groan the greater the glory. God is not the source of pain and did not promise to prevent our suffering. Instead He promises that no pain will go to waste.

What the world intends for harm God will use for our good. End quote. And that is true. But know this the joy to come will be greater after you have come through the trial you are in.

And that brings me to this final point. We have a hopeful future. No matter what you are going through you have a hopeful future. I can tell you in complete confidence today and whatever you are facing right now the best is still yet to come. And you have God's promise right here in the pages of Scripture. Look at verse 23. We wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us full rights as His adopted children.

Including the new bodies He has promised us. I know some of you are suffering. I know for some it seems like it is more than you can bear. But I also know that God is in control of your life and He loves you as His child because you are His child. Jonathan Edwards put it this way and I quote, Our bad things turn out for good, our good things can never be lost, and the best things are yet to come. Our bad things turn out for good, our good things can never be lost, and the best things are yet to come.

End quote. One day all of our groaning and waiting will be over and we will be welcomed to heaven. And your suffering will eventually end and you will have a greater strength and a deeper joy.

All things will ultimately work out for your good in God's glory. Because He has adopted you. Because you are His child. So you can say Abba Father. One of the best examples of adoption is in the Old Testament. In the story of David and Mephibosheth. How many of you have heard of Mephibosheth? How many of you have named your child Mephibosheth?

It is a good name. So Mephibosheth was the grandson of King Saul and the son of David's buddy Jonathan. So Saul was the king of Israel.

He was wicked. He disobeyed the Lord. The Lord removed him and raised up David when he was still a shepherd boy out in the wilderness.

You know the story. And David went and slew Goliath. And when Saul realized that David was going to take his throne, he made it the purpose of his life to destroy this young man. Including attempts on David's life. Throwing his javelin at David. And harassing David and chasing David in the wilderness like he was a wild animal.

But David just persisted and wouldn't strike back against King Saul. But David did become close friends with Prince Jonathan, Saul's son. And Jonathan asked David, Hey will you take care of my family if anything happens to me? And David said he would. One day the king and his son were slain on the field of battle. Saul and Jonathan were killed. So David made an inquiry. Is there anyone left in the house of Jonathan?

And they said, Yeah he has a son. His name is Mephibosheth. And he lives in Lodabar. That's a funky place to live isn't it?

Where do you live? Lodabar. And there in Lodabar a tragic thing had happened to him when he was a little boy. He had been disabled. He was crippled. Couldn't use his legs because he was dropped when people were in a panic after Saul and Jonathan were killed. So also potentially Mephibosheth could have been a threat against David. Because one day he would become an adult. Maybe he would try to take his place as the king. Because David was now the king. So David said, Oh yeah there is a boy there. Mephibosheth.

Ok. I want him brought to the palace. I wonder if that freaked out Mephibosheth when he got the knock on the door. Yes. You have been summoned to the palace of King David. Oh that's it. I am dead.

And they take him to the palace and David says, You are the son of Jonathan? Yes I am. Well you are welcome at my table now. You are part of my family now.

You come on right here boy. You take a seat at that table. Every day when we have food you are here with us. You are part of this family now.

He had a seat at the table. And that is what happens to us. God takes us. We are sinners rebelling against him. Our lives are broken. In some ways even like Mephibosheth we have been dropped in life.

Were you dropped? I don't mean literally. Maybe some of you were. And it may explain a lot. But I am speaking figuratively.

Metaphorically. You know maybe your parents just didn't have time for you. They never affirmed you. They never encouraged you. They may have abandoned you. Or they neglected you.

Some even hurt you. You were dropped in life. God specializes in taking people who have been dropped in life and then he lifts them up.

He seems to go out of his way to find people like this. And that is what David did for Mephibosheth and that is what God has done for us. And we too have a seat at the table. At the Lord's table. But this is only for the Christian. And if you have joined us today and you are not sure if you are a Christian.

You can become one right now. We talked about being a child of God. How does one become a child of God?

Answer. Through birth. Not birth into a Christian family but rebirth. Jesus said you must be born again. Remember scripture says for as many as received him he gave them the power to become sons of God. You must receive Christ into your life.

Have you done that yet? So you can go to church and never receive Christ. You can receive communion and never have received Christ. You can be baptized and never have received Christ. There has to be that moment in your life where you ask him to come and take residence in your heart as your Savior and Lord.

And one of the verses we looked at it says his spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God. Listen. I know I am a child of God. I know it. How many of you know it? You know it. You know it. You know it. But what if you don't know it?

Well maybe you aren't one. See if Christ has taken residence in your heart don't you think you will be aware of that? Someone moved into your house in the middle of the night. Started cooking fish in your kitchen. Think you would be aware of that? Come down at three o'clock in the morning.

What is going on here? Oh we just moved in. I am not comparing Jesus as someone cooking fish in your kitchen. I am just saying if someone moved into your home you would be aware. And if Christ has moved into your heart you will know it.

And if you don't know it maybe it is because he hasn't moved into your heart yet. But he can come into your life right now and forgive you of all of your sin. And you can put your past behind you. And you can have a new beginning.

So if you don't know if Jesus is living inside of you yet why don't you ask him to come into your life and forgive you right now. And we are going to pray and give you an opportunity to do that. Let's all pray. Everyone bow in their head. Father I pray for any person here.

Any person watching wherever they are. If they don't know Jesus. If you have not taken residence in their hearts yet. Would you help them to see their need for you. And help them to come to you and believe in you right here right now we pray. Amen. Pastor Greg Laurie with an important prayer. And if you would like to make that kind of change in your relationship with the Lord. Pastor Greg will help you in just a moment before we wrap up today here on A New Beginning.

Now the title of today's study is The Pleasure in Pain. Would you like to hear any part of this study again? You can do that free of charge online at harvest.org.

Stream the message or download an MP3 for later. Again go to harvest.org. Well Pastor Greg the movie Jesus Revolution is now out on DVD. And I was thinking about a conversation you had years ago with Pastor Chuck Smith. I believe you asked him about the time of the Jesus movement. And whether we could have another time of spiritual awakening.

Spiritual renewal as we did in the 60's and 70's. And you remember what his comment was? His answer back to you was? Yes Dave I remember it very clearly. I was sitting at lunch with Chuck and I always peppered him with all these questions.

And so he was just finishing his meal. I said Chuck I have a question for you. I said do you think we'll ever see another Jesus revolution? I think I may have said another Jesus movement.

And Chuck paused for a moment and then he looked at me and said I don't know Greg. We may not be desperate enough. And I agreed with that statement but you know fast forward many years. And the days in which we're living what's happening right now in our world around us. All the crazy things that are happening. I think we may finally be desperate enough for a spiritual awakening in America again.

We've seen some promising signs haven't we? In college campuses like Asbury and other places where we hear of young people praying for hours on end. Day after day, night after night longing for a relationship with God. You know it's sort of like when it rains. Sometimes when it rains it's a drop here it's a drop there. I'll be out walking with my wife and I'll say hey Kathy it's starting to rain. She'll say no it isn't and I'll say yes it is because bald men always know when it's raining first.

See it might rain for five minutes before she knows because her hair is so thick. But I feel the first drop and what I see right now happening in our country are little drops of rain. Revival like drops that cause me to wonder is more coming. So I think we need to pray Lord do it again. One of the reasons we made this film Jesus Revolution was to tell a revival story in hopes that it might inspire people to pray for another revival. It's been said the fame of revival spreads the flame of revival. So this film Jesus Revolution is a revival story.

It's a real story. It's a story of the last great spiritual awakening in America. And we're praying do it again Lord. So that's why I want to send you your own copy of the Jesus Revolution film on DVD so you can be revived. I've heard so many stories Dave of people watching it saying that I was revived in my faith. I recommitted my life to the Lord. One very well-known pastor called me said I didn't want to text you I wanted to say this to you in person. He says I wept through this film and it made me want to get a paperback copy of the Bible in my hands again and read it like I was reading it for the first time.

I thought that was so well said. And I've just heard this over and over again from leaders and pastors and folks that have just gone and seen this film. It's revived them.

It reminds them of maybe what their relationship with God used to be like. I pray this film will revive you as well. So order your own copy of the Jesus Revolution film. We have it for you on DVD along with some special bonus content including a presentation of the gospel I did.

Complete with a prayer for a person to pray and accept Christ into their life. And I want to send you this DVD for your gift of any size. Whatever you send will send you this movie. But I am going to ask you to be generous because we have had to pay more for this resource than we normally have to pay. So help us continue to get the Word of God out more and we pray this film will inspire others to have personal revival. Amen. So get in touch today for your DVD of Jesus Revolution.

And we'll also include a free streaming code. And we so much appreciate your partnership that allows us to bring you these daily studies from Pastor Greg here on A New Beginning. Call us today at 1-800-821-3300. Call anytime 1-800-821-3300 or write A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514.

Or go online to Harvest.org. Well Pastor Greg, I know there are some in our audience who felt God speaking to them today through your message. And they want to make a change in their relationship with the Lord.

Could you help them with that? Yeah, you know, Dave, the Bible says whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved. So I want to lead you in a prayer where you will be doing just that, calling on the name of the Lord. So listen, if you want your sin forgiven, if you want to know that when you die you will go to heaven, if you want Jesus Christ to come into your life and take away your guilt and your shame, then just stop what you're doing and pray this prayer with me right now. Pray this after me if you would, Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner. I have broken your commandments.

I have fallen short of your standards. But two thousand years ago you died on that cross for me. Then you rose again from the dead. So Jesus come into my life and be my Savior and my Lord and my God and my friend.

I choose to follow you from this moment forward. Thank you for calling me and accepting me and forgiving me. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.

Amen. Listen, if you have just prayed those words with Pastor Greg and meant them sincerely, the Lord has heard you and forgiven you of your sin. And we want to welcome you into the family of God and would like to send some follow-up materials your way to help you begin to live this life of faith. Let us send you our New Believers Growth Packet. Simply call us at 1-800-821-3300. We're here 24-7, that's 1-800-821-3300.

Or write us at A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514. Or go online to harvest.org and click the words, Know God. Well next time Pastor Greg digs into one of the most helpful verses in the entire book of Romans. All things work together for good. Well come to understand the full scope of that promise. Join us here on A New Beginning with Pastor and Bible Teacher, Greg Laurie. This is the day, the day when life begins. The preceding podcast was made possible by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God. Learn how to become a Harvest Partner, sign up for daily devotions and find resources to help you grow in your faith at harvest.org.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-19 05:01:31 / 2023-05-19 05:12:19 / 11

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