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Coin of the Realm

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger
The Truth Network Radio
October 4, 2022 3:30 am

Coin of the Realm

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger

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October 4, 2022 3:30 am

In this episode from our 10/1/2022 broadcast, I tackle something that's been on my mind for many years - chronic pain and my view of God. 

In America, the "coin of the realm" is the dollar. Metaphorically, in Washington DC, the currency - the coin of the realm - is power. In LA, it's fame - but what is the coin of the realm in God's economy? What has value to God - and how does it relate to us as family caregivers? 

www.hopeforthecaregiver.com 

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As caregivers, we have so many things that hit us all the time, and we can't always nail these things down by ourselves. Who helps you?

What does that look like? I'm Peter Rosenberg, and I want to tell you about a program I've been a part of now for almost 10 years, and that's Legal Shield. For less than $30 a month, I have access to a full law firm that can handle all kinds of things.

If I get a contract put in front of me, if I got a dispute with something, doesn't matter. I've got a full law firm that can help me navigate through all the sticky wickets that we as caregivers have to deal with. Power of attorney, medical power of attorney, I will.

Every bit of it. As a caregiver, we need someone who advocates for us, and that's why I use Legal Shield. So go to caregiverlegal.com. Look on the left-hand side where it says Legal Shield. Just select it.

It turns purple. It says, pick a plan. It'll give you some options.

If you don't need any of those, don't select them. Check out and be protected starting today. That's caregiverlegal.com. Welcome to Hope of the Caregiver here on American Family Radio. This is Peter Rosenberg and this is the program for you as a family caregiver. How are you doing?

What's going on with you? This program focuses exclusively for the caregiver. Now, if you're not a caregiver, you may get something out of this and you certainly might want to share it with somebody that you know as a caregiver, a pastor, a counselor, but this program's focus remains exclusively upon those who are willingly, voluntarily, without training, putting themselves between a vulnerable loved one and even worse, disaster. That vulnerable loved one may include somebody with autism or trauma or addiction, alcoholism, some type of disease, aging.

The list of impairments are extensive, but the resources of the caregiver are not, and often the caregiver is armed only with love and a sense of duty and responsibility. This program is designed to help that caregiver be better equipped to face the onslaught of what it's like to care for a vulnerable human being, and so we're glad that you're with us. Hopeforthecaregiver.com. Hopeforthecaregiver.com, and we'd love to hear from you. There's a little contact form. You can send it to me. Go straight to me, and I'll be glad to answer any questions, comments. Try to do it on the air if I can, and if not, I'll try to write you back.

So please take advantage of that. Also, our Facebook group, Hope for the Caregiver at Facebook, and it's this special group. You can sign up for it, and it's a private group. I'm the sole administrator, and we just talk about whatever's on our hearts, and if it gets off the rails, I will bring it back onto the highway, so don't worry about that. I will monitor that group. I want to talk to you about something today that's been on my mind for a long time. I've touched on this program in years past, and this is not really a review. This is a reminder to myself and to others.

I want to talk about pain, and I want to talk about the effects of pain on the way we function as human beings, and then we'll delve into that also as caregivers. I have a theory. Now, work with me on this. Just stay with me. This may take a while to unpack it.

Just stay with me. I have a theory about pain. Now, the background of this is I live with somebody who has relentless pain, and she's had severe chronic pain from all these orthopedic traumas she's had since her car wreck in 1983, since her car wreck in 1983, and her pain is extensive. I've worked with numerous pain specialists over the years, and I've tried to learn from each one.

Some of them were good, and some of them were... In the past, a lot of them used to just try to throw bricks of opioids at Gracie, but you can't do that. I mean, I can't... Let me back up. You can get somebody out of pain today. Medical science doesn't... Gracie can be completely out of pain today, but she wouldn't be able to function. She would be either sedated or numb.

Okay, so that's the background for this conversation that has prompted these thoughts that I have, and I want to run them by you, see what you think. My first premise is that you cannot recall the experience of pain. Now, let me clarify. You can recall that it hurt. You can describe it and use great adjectives to do so, but try to recall the experience of it. For example, when's the last time you stubbed your toe or smashed your finger with a hammer? Okay, you know that it hurt. You can describe it in great detail, but can you recall the sensation of it? Can you recall the experience of that pain? And I am of the mindset that you cannot. You cannot do that.

We are not capable of doing that. Now, I will prove that to you. What was your reaction when you hit your thumb with a hammer, for example? Stubbed your toe, cut your finger, slammed your hand in something, pinched something. What was your reaction? Well, most of us would probably say, ow, or if we're alone, we may swear.

I'm not going to tell anybody, but if, you know, if you've got somebody around you, you may try to sound more spiritual. But we all had some type of reaction. Now, here's how I know that you cannot recall the experience of pain. You're not reacting. Neither am I. I know what it's like to hit my thumb with a hammer, but I'm not reacting.

You can't recall it. Now, certain pain will lead to certain kinds of reaction. The more severe the pain, the more severe the reaction. You know, when Gracie fell and broke her leg last year, her reaction was intense. I mean, she was just in agony, and it took a long time for the ambulance to get to where we are, to get her down.

They had the helicopter over to Billings. I mean, she was in pretty bad shape, and her reaction was severe, and it required a lot of medical intervention. Now, she knows that it hurts, and the break is over, the aftermath, and it still recovers, and she'll always feel the twins of that. Sometimes more than a twin, she'll tell you, and yet she's not reacting the same way she was when she fell and broke her leg. This is her femur. I told her, I said, if you just broke the bottom part of your legs, we could have fixed that with a hammer and a screwdriver. She didn't think that was nearly as funny as I did. She has two prosthetic legs, so she didn't think that was nearly as funny as I did, and that reaction is a different conversation. That's a different conversation, but she required enormous amount of medical intervention due to the severity of the injury. Now, what's the difference?

Why are we still not doing that? Because things have healed. They have progressed better. Time eased the pain.

Stay with me on this. Time eased the pain. When you go through a major life event, trauma, like, you know, a funeral, losing a loved one, eventually the grass grows over the grave. Time moves on, and there will be an ache, but the acute, sharp kick in the gut heals over time for the most part. You never get over it. You will always have the echoes of that because of the kind of loss that it is.

But what was your reaction? Yesterday, for example, we had to bury our dog. We love this dog.

Fourteen years we've had this dog. And the visceral reaction to this, as the vet came up here, I've been to funerals that were less Christ-honoring than what we had for our dog. It was such a time of great prayer and a lot of tears, but he went peacefully.

He was in such pain with his arthritis, and we had to put him down, and it just tore our hearts out. And it's going to take a lot of time for this to ease. It still echoes there. It's still painful today. I mean, it's just yesterday.

It's going to take time. But even still, there will always be that echo of that pain. But we're not feeling it the same way we did yesterday, and tomorrow we'll feel it differently than we do today. And as time marches forward, it becomes a manageable heartache, but not the acute sense of it.

You follow me? So time plays a factor in our response to pain, so much so that we cannot recall the acute experience of it, even though we can't describe it in great detail. We can't recall that acute experience of it.

So why is that important? Well, I'm glad you asked, and we're going to talk about that when we come back. The problem of pain and the challenges it brings to us to be able to deal with this as a caregiver, and I'm going to unpack this in the next block, so stay with me. Don't go away.

This is Peter Rosenberger. This is hope for the caregiver. Hope for the caregiver is that conviction that we, as caregivers, can live a calmer, healthier, and dare I say, in a more joyful life while serving as a caregiver. We'll be right back. Welcome back to Hope for the Caregiver here on American Family Radio.

I am Peter Rosenberger. This is the program for you as a family caregiver. We're glad that you are with us. Hopeforthecaregiver.com.

Hopeforthecaregiver.com. We're talking about pain today. Yeah, I know it's a real great topic to be talking about on the radio, but it's important to us as caregivers because we live with it every single day, and whether it's physical pain, whether it's pain from the heart, whether it's pain from our finances, whatever it is, there is pain around us as family caregivers. So we're going to talk about it today, and as I said in the last block, I set the table with you cannot recall the sensation of pain, the experience of pain, the feeling of it. You can recall what it was like.

You could describe it in great detail, but you're not reacting the same way you were when you hit your thumb. Yesterday, as I mentioned, we had to bury our dog. I'm not reacting this morning the same way I was yesterday. It hurts. It still hurts. It's going to take a while for it to stop hurting so acutely, but time does lessen the blow. Okay.

You follow me? Time allows some healing. Now, some people don't ever truly heal, and we'll get into that in just a minute, but I want to focus on the reactions. When you have an acute pain, you will react.

If you hit your thumb, you will react. If you have a loss, you will react with tears, with sorrow. If you have a major trauma, you will react. When Gracie first had her wreck back in 83, she had so much trauma, she went into shock, and they had to, of course, medically intervene, had to replace fluid and everything else, blood. She had massive blood loss, all those kinds of things to stabilize her, to keep her from dying. Her body was in shock. Her body shut down. There was so much pain that her body shut down. Well, she's no longer in shock.

Time changed that. Medical intervention changes that, but the point is that part is gone. When we have certain kinds of trauma, our reactions become even more intense and require a lot of help in dealing with the reaction to it. They not only had to repair her body, they had to help bring her back from shock, her body's reaction to what had happened to her. What's another type of reaction that comes to your mind when faced with great suffering, injury, trauma, heartache, all of the above?

What's another reaction that comes to your mind besides the initial anguish? One of those things is we start speculating on why this is happening. It's almost as if it's a reflex of the human condition that we must try to figure out why this is happening. Now nowhere is this better displayed than in the book of Job, where these guys are all sitting around speculating on why this happened to Job. And Job is trying to respond to it best he can, but they're all trying to figure out why this happened, as if that's important.

Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. You know, I remember when 9-11 hit, and it was everybody was trying to say, why, why, why would God allow such a thing? Why would God allow something? Why would God do this? Why would God do this? Go back and look at Jesus with the disciples that they came up to.

Why was this man born blind? And our questions reflect our theological disposition, if you will. Our understanding of God is reflected in the questions that we ask. Now I do not believe in any respect that it is wrong to question God's directives. I say that because he puts it in scripture.

David did this repeatedly throughout the Psalms, and there are other places in scripture where there were plaintive cries out to God, why are you doing this? Why? How long, oh Lord?

You see this in Revelation, how long, oh Lord? Why? And I understand that I understand those questions. I have watched Gracie suffer for a lifetime, and I have watched her struggle mightily, and I've asked, why God? Why? Why do you allow this? Why don't you just give her some relief? I tell you what, I won't tell anybody that you gave her some relief so that it won't thwart your will. I was that insolent with God.

I'm not advocating that, okay, but I'm not advocating that, I'm just being candid with you. And this has been my journey. I have struggled to understand God's wisdom, God's economy. In our economy, what is the currency? What is the coin of the realm in the United States of America, the economy of our country? It's the dollar. But what is money? Money is a belief system. Money is where you believe that this has value, therefore, you will exchange something for that. There's a belief that it has value. Well, God has an economy, but money is not the coin of the realm in God's economy. What is the coin of the realm in God's economy?

What has value in God's economy? And how does this tie into the problem of pain? Well, again, let's set the table here. Stay with me on this, okay? You got nowhere else to go right now. We're just listening, just you and me.

Just give you a hard time. How we respond to God in times of great sorrow reflects our understanding of God. So if we're constantly floundering around, why God, why God, why God, why God? What does that say about how much we know of the nature of God? Would it not be appropriate to say that if we understand God a little better and understand what he values, then our response in the midst of suffering would reflect our knowledge of that?

Would that not be a fair statement? So the more we know about God and what he values, the more we understand so the more we know about God and what he values, then our responses to God would reflect our knowledge of him and what he values. We would, as Paul says in Philippians, we would let this mind be in you, which is also in Christ Jesus. In other words, we would, we would start thinking thoughts that were more in line with that. And we would trust him for the things that we don't understand. But if we are constantly questioning the goodness of God every time there's an event, and yet as soon as time lessens the acute impact, you can't recall pain.

Remember that as soon as the pain becomes more manageable, we put those questions aside and wait to bring them out for the next event, then we never deal with the questions that are lurking at the bottom of our soul. We never learn to deal with who God is and who we are in light of that and how our response to this God is. We don't know his economy. We don't know what has value to God. We don't know what the coin of the realm is. We don't know how to exchange currency.

We are shooting arrows in the dark and have no idea what we're doing here. And we're reflecting all these things that are saying, hey, look, I don't trust him. I don't believe him. Why would he do this? He's supposed to be a good and loving God.

Why would he allow this? But then as the pain subsides and our reaction subsides, we get medical intervention. We get stabilized. We're not in shock anymore. We're not at the grave anymore. Those questions go back on the shelf. We bring them back out the next time it happens, but we never deal with the questions.

And here's where I want to bring you to right now. In the case of chronic pain, when the trauma is never ceasing, never goes away, doesn't subside, time does not heal this, it is broken and it stays broken. In those moments, those why God questions must be dealt with. Our reaction must be dealt with. You cannot keep laying on the ground screaming with a broken leg in perpetuity. We have to deal with the reality at hand in a way that allows us to function. We have to go deeper or we will go absolutely insane. I am convinced of this.

We will go barking mad unless we deal with this in the case of acute relentless trauma and pain. And there are many of us out there right now who are finding themselves in this world. You are looking at something in front of you that never stops. It is relentless. I am one of those individuals. I've watched this with Gracie. She lives it.

I watch it and I care for her in it. And many of you are doing the same thing. It doesn't go away and the questions stay in front of you and we must deal with those things. And God would have us deal with these things. I believe this with all my heart. That scripture takes us deep into these places if we are willing to go.

If we are willing to trust Him. If we are willing to see in God's economy what the coin to the realm is. What has value to God. And how can we live with this knowing that it has value. Because we all want to see purpose.

We all want to see value. And God is not going to reveal everything to us. Even in heaven we will know Him truly but not absolutely. He is infinite. He is other.

We are not. But He is trustworthy of this. And we can trust Him but we have to change our value system to understand that the way He thinks about this is vastly different than the way we think about this. And I have chosen over a period of time to allow myself to turn into this headwind of suffering and not keep trying to escape it but to say what can I learn from this? What can I learn about God? Instead of asking why God all the time ask who are you God?

That this makes sense to you. Who are you? Who are you? Who are you? Who are you that this has value? How can I trust you in this? How can I deal with this?

How can I look at what I look at every single day and not go into despair? How does Gracie do it? And the invitation is to trust Him. How do we know we can trust Him? Our son when he was nine years old asked us this. One of our sons asked us this. He said, how can I trust that God cares about my pain when I see what He allows mom to go through? And that's kind of the question for a lot of us. How'd you like to answer that one from a nine year old? A lot of pastors and theologians probably would kind of stammer through that one. Yet here was my son asking me this. How can I trust that God cares about me when I see what He allows mom to go through?

It's a tough question. And in spite of myself, at that point in time, I looked in the big brown eyes of our son, big tears in his eyes, and I said, son, I don't know why God allows mom to suffer like He does. But because of what happened on the cross, I'm willing to trust Him.

Because of the magnificence of the cross, I'm willing to trust Him. And that was the best I had for our son. And that's really the best I have for myself and for you. We're going to still go deeper in the next block, so don't go away.

We've got more to go. This is Hope for the Caregiver. This is Peter Rosenberger. We'll be right back. Welcome back to Hope for the Caregiver.

This is Peter Rosenberger. This is the program for you as a family caregiver. Hopeforthecaregiver.com. If you're not a caregiver, you're going to get something out of this program, but I'm really focused on those who are caring for a vulnerable loved one, for those who are putting themselves every day without training, without sometimes much in the way of resources, without a lot of physical strength, and without pay. Putting themselves between a vulnerable loved one and even worse, disaster. A chronically impaired loved one, whether it's a special needs child or whether it's an aging parent, or in my case, somebody who lives with the aftermath of a great deal of trauma.

And all of these things wear on the family caregiver. And this program is designed to help equip you to stand firm, to point you to safety, solid ground, change the way we think about these things. I've had the benefit of a great deal of preaching over the years. And sometimes people said, you know, you ought to be a preacher.

Well, I certainly have the hair for it, but no, I'm just kidding. But I feel like I have a different role to play here in the sense of a conventional pastor. I am not a theologian and I don't, you know, I have, I have great admiration for those individuals who are great expositors and so forth. For me, the things I share on this program, I'm sharing as an extension of my walk and my journey in the best way that I know how. In using the vocabulary and the experiences that I have. And while I hope to be increasing increasing in knowledge and theology and doctors and so forth so that I can better understand in my own journey, please understand that I am not such a person. I'm just a caregiver. So when I share these things, I'm sharing this out of my own experience and out of my own heart and journey and the insights that I have today.

I apologize in advance for things I may get wrong that I'm going to learn about down the road here, but, but always verify this with people far more trained than me. That said, I struggle with this topic of pain, watching it unfold in front of my life, feeling my own pain of, of this trauma that is just never ceasing when you're, you're so weary. And then those, why God questions come out.

That's the reaction. When we hit our thumb with a hammer, we react. When our hearts get hit, we react. How do we react with a heart blow? And that's when we usually ask those, why God questions, when it all kind of comes to the surface, we're questioning the veracity of God's love for us.

Is this really true? Is there really a God and can we trust it? And these are all questions that lurk at the basement of our soul. How many of you all will admit to swearing when you've stubbed your toe or injured yourself in some way? We've all been there.

And if you haven't been there, well, okay, God bless you. But that's not something we do on a regular basis. But what if we keep stubbing our toe? What if we keep hitting our thumb with a hammer? What if we keep getting punched in the gut? How do we respond to this when it's chronic and intractable and there's no end in sight?

How do you function with that? What are your reactions when you go through this over and over? Why would God allow something like this? Why would God allow something like this?

What kind of good and loving God? These are the reactions we have. This is the swearing that we have when we hit our thumb. This is what comes out of us.

Like I said in the last block, it's almost like it's a reflex to the human condition. And we want to lob charges at the almighty for saying, this is not what you promised me. Where's this abundant life that we hear great preachers on TV with great, even better hair than mine?

Like they could. Where's that message? When's the last time you tuned in to see a televangelist preach that? And yet this is what scripture contains from beginning to end. This enormous canvas that God paints upon that involves great sorrow and heartache. And as I said in the last block, what is the coin of the realm in God's kingdom? Now in our kingdom, in this world, money and the promise of money, which is a belief system.

This is how we exchange goods and services. What does money mean to God? What does money truly mean to God? And if money is not the coin of the realm for God's kingdom, what is? What's the value in God's kingdom? What does it take to please God? The book of Hebrews says without what?

It's impossible to please God. Faith. Where does faith come? It comes by hearing and hearing from the word of God. So the more we hear the word of God, the more our faith is increased.

The more our faith is increased, the more pleasing it is to God. Go even deeper than just that. What is God looking for?

What is he looking for? And in that, you have to go all the way back. Well, you go all the way back to Genesis.

Everything's in Genesis. But let's specifically go to the book of Samuel. To the book of Samuel. And Samuel said to Saul, has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice. And then he goes on to add, and to listen than the fat of rams. Now for context for that setup, you have to go back to 1 Samuel 15.

Okay. Samuel told Saul, I want you to go down there and punish Amalek, the Amalekites. I want you to punish them for how Amalek ambushed Israel out of Egypt. That was hundreds of years before this.

Don't tell me God forgets because he doesn't. And go down there and destroy everything they have. Do not spare them. Kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, oxen, sheep, camel, and donkey.

That sounds horrific. And it blows our minds to think about this. And Saul went down there and he did almost what he was told to do. But he spared the king and the best of the sheep, the oxen and the fatlings and the lambs and all that was good in his eyes.

And he was unwilling to destroy them, but everything despised and worthless, they utterly destroyed. And then the word of the Lord, you go back in verse 10, the word of the Lord says to Samuel, Hey, I greatly regret that I have set up Saul's king for he's turned back from following me and has not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel. And he cried out to the Lord all night. And Samuel went, long story short, he went to confront Saul and Saul rushed out.

Yeah. Hey, look, I did what the Lord commanded. Blessed are you of the Lord. I have performed the commandments of the Lord. I did it.

I was obedient. And Saul got an earful from Samuel and Samuel said, Hey, no, you didn't do it. And this is where this powerful exchange happens when Saul is trying to protest on just how well he followed the Lord's directive. And Samuel tells him, go take a look at it. It says in the text in verse 16, Samuel said to Saul, be quiet.

And I will tell you what the Lord said to me last night. And it's funny because Saul says, speak on, go ahead. As if Samuel needed his permission. And he goes on there and then Samuel says this, obedience is better than sacrifice.

If you read it in the message, sometimes I like to read it in a bunch of different ways here so I could really grasp the concept of it. Samuel said this, do you think all God wants are sacrifices? Empty rituals just for show? He wants you to listen to him.

Plain listening is the thing. Not staging a lavish religious production. Not doing what God tells you is far worse than fooling around in the occult. Getting self-important around God is far worse than making deals with your dead ancestors because you said no to God's command.

God is saying no to your kingship. Now, Saul eventually did go to the occult. And evidently Samuel knew something was going on with Saul. But this particular encounter, Saul got a brick to the face from Samuel of the reality of his condition. And let's be clear, we're all Saul.

Okay? We're all Saul. We're all going to make these elaborate sacrifices.

We're prone to do it. Let me go to the caregiver keyboard here. It's like that old hymn, come thou fount of every blessing. O to grace, how great a debtor, daily I'm constrained to be. Let thy goodness like a fetter bind my wandering heart to thee. Now here's where we're all like Saul. Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love. Here's my heart, O take and seal it.

Seal it for thy courts above. And that hymn reminds us all that we are prone to wander. Lord, I feel it. The takeaway from this encounter with Saul is not for us to somehow think, well, I thank thee, Lord, that I'm not like Saul.

No, no, no. I am like Saul. But it's to recognize the currency in God's kingdom is obedience. That is the currency in his economy. He has called us to obedience by faith. Remember what pleases God is faith. And that currency is our obedience in his kingdom. And with that obedience comes all the value that he lays out in scripture.

Now, how do I know this? Well, we still stay in the book of Hebrews here. Chapter five, verse eight through nine. Son, though he was talking about Jesus, he learned obedience from what he suffered. And once made perfect, he became the son of Jesus, became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.

Now I'd be lying to you if I said I understood that, because how does that, what does that mean? Once made perfect? He was born perfect, wasn't he? I don't get that. There's some theologians out there, feel free to weigh in.

But I'm going to go to the message where it says this, when it unpacks a little bit. And while he lived on earth anticipating death, Jesus cried out in pain sorrow as he offered up priestly prayers to God because he honored God. God answered him. Though he was God's son, he learned trusting obedience by what he suffered just as we do.

Then having arrived at the full stature of his maturity and having been announced by God as high priest in the order of Melchizedek, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who believingly obey him. This is the currency in God's kingdom. Believingly obey him. Being obedient in suffering. Jesus himself did this. Being obedient in suffering. Trusting him in this. This is the currency in the kingdom of God.

This is the coin of the realm in the kingdom of God. And in the next segment, we're going to talk about what this means for us as caregivers. This is Peter Rosenberger. This is Hope for the Caregiver. We'll be right back. Welcome back to Hope for the Caregiver here on American Family Radio. This is Peter Rosenberger.

This is the program for you as a family caregiver. That is Gary Chapman singing there is a treasure at the end of this narrow road on travel. We're talking about pain juxtaposed against the coin of the realm. That's how they refer to currency in any particular type of society. In our country, it's the dollar. And we believe that dollar has value.

With inflation, the dollar value decreases. It's that simple. What is the coin of the realm in Washington DC, for example? Well, that's power. And proximity to power is power. So the closer you are to power, the more value you have. What's the coin of the realm in Hollywood? Fame.

You follow the thought now. Well, what is the coin of the realm in God's economy? Because in God's economy, things make sense that don't make sense in our economy.

In our economy, we look at pleasure and things that can make us feel good and things that will benefit us in the immediate and comfort and all these things. In God's economy, He doesn't use the same monetary standard that we do. What does money mean to God? The currency in the kingdom, if you will, is obedience. Obedience is the currency of God's kingdom. And nowhere is that obedience harder than when dealing with painful things. When it goes against what we think we want, what makes us happy, what satisfies our lust, our demands, our desire for comfort. And yet it's in that place that we are asked to be obedient, specifically.

That's where the test comes. And so we look to our Savior for that model. While He lived on earth, again, I'm reading in from Hebrews 5, 8 through 10. This is about Jesus.

This is from the message. While He lived on earth, anticipating death, Jesus cried out in pain and wept in sorrow as He offered up priestly prayers to God. Because He honored God, God answered Him. Again, that exchange of value. You want to be in the presence of God?

You want to be in the presence that exchange of value. You want to be in the presence of God? You want those promises of God? You must honor, obey. Though He was God's Son, He learned trusting obedience by what He suffered, just as we do.

Then, having arrived at the full stature of His maturity and having been announced by God as High Priest in the order of Melchizedek, He became the source of eternal salvation to all who believingly obey Him. By faith, obey. By faith, obey. Now, go back and juxtapose that with 1 Samuel 15.

We talked about this. Do you think all God wants are sacrifices? Now, how many of us as caregivers say, well, Lord, look at all we're doing. Do you think that's all He wants, is sacrifices? Empty rituals just for show, He goes on to say. He wants you to listen to Him. Plain listening is the thing.

Not staging a lavish religious production. Lord, look what I'm doing in Your name. Lord, look at all the people I'm reaching. Look at all the good I'm doing.

He doesn't want that. Not doing what God tells you is far worse than fooling around in the occult. Getting self-important around God is far worse than making deals with your dead ancestors. Because you said no to God's command, Samuel said to Saul, God says no to your kingship.

He took the kingship away. This is the temptation we have in our suffering is to somehow think that we are being put upon, that this makes no sense in God's economy, and we question the goodness of God. By doing so, we're reflecting that we really don't know God.

We don't know Him. In God's economy, this makes sense, and if you look through the whole of Scripture, you'll see this. Even Jesus Himself learned obedience through suffering.

That is our model, to trust Him when all these things look so bleak, and they do. But we're not going to do it if we keep asking the why God questions. Every time there's a pain stimulus, we freak out and we ask, why is God doing this? Why is God doing this?

Why is God doing this? And we want to speculate, well, maybe He's doing this for this, or maybe He's doing this for this. I call it the consolation of speculation, and it means absolutely nothing.

It is vapid and empty. The only thing that is substantive is for us to recognize that God is sovereign in this. That is the currency of trusting Him by faith and being obedient. As a caregiver, we are trusting by faith that this makes sense to Him, and we will be obedient to do so as unto God, because this is where He has us.

Now that doesn't sound like a lot of fun, and quite truthfully it's not. But He didn't ask us to have fun. He asked us to be obedient and to trust Him. That He is working through all these things. So our reaction when we're faced with pain, we react with, why is He doing this? Over time, if we're willing to seek Him in this, our reactions will change to say, who is He?

And go deeper and go deeper and go deeper. Who is God that He's allowing this? Not in a way of some type of disrespect, like who is God? It's who is this Savior? Who is this Father? Who is this Trinitarian God that in His own counsel, before all the foundation of the world was laid, decreed all these things?

Who is He? See, this is what Job had to deal with at the end of the book of Job. If you see this, God appears to him out of the world and would say, hey, where were you when I was doing all this? Where were you when I was doing all this?

When I was setting all these things in motion, where were you? And Job had to put his hand over his mouth. He could not answer because he was faced with the living God. And he recognized at that moment the vastness of God and the smallness of Job.

And even then we don't recognize it accurately. But when we recognize it, but when we see it in this context and we understand the cross and what this meant for God to rip Himself into so that we could approach Him in this manner, then our questions start to change. We no longer struggle with the why God questions in the sense that we did before.

We'll always have them. I believe that we'll always struggle. Lord, why are you doing this? But not in a sense of accusing Him of not being who He says He is, but of struggling to understand His will in this.

There are so many that want to indict the Almighty and put Him on trial because of the wickedness that exists in this world versus going back to scripture and asking how big a problem is sin and what is God's remedy to it? How broken is this world and what is God's response to it? You see, He left a comforter after Christ ascended.

He left the comforter. The comforter came that comforts us in all of our afflictions so that we may offer that same comfort to others. But if we're so busy demanding that God comfort us in the way we understand, then we're going to miss out on the journey.

We're not going to understand a lot of these things. So that's when you hear these hymns and all of a sudden they make a little bit more sense. Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine. Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine. All of a sudden hymns like, Oh God, our help in ages past, or there is a redeemer, Jesus, God's old Son, precious Lamb of God, Messiah, Holy One. Thank you, O my Father, because we see the bigness of redemption juxtaposed against the massive canvas of history. And in that, and in that, our spirits are settled down and we are strengthened to trust Him as we look at suffering as a caregiver. We see the brokenness and we grieve with it.

We mourn with it just like Jesus did. It said right here, He cried out in pain and wept in sorrow as He offered up priestly prayers. In other words, we have a Savior who was acquainted with grief and sorrow and intercedes on our behalf in the order of Melchizedek. You have to get some theologians on that one from way back in Genesis. But in that order, He is our high priest who groans through His Spirit on our behalf as we look at suffering and we trust Him.

Like I told our son, nine years old, how can I trust Him with my suffering when I see what He allows mom to go through? And it's the same answer every time because He stretched out His arms and gave His life for us on the cross. God ripped Himself in two and Jesus learned obedience through His own suffering, modeling that we can too, with faith through our suffering, trusting that in God's economy this makes sense. We trust Him even though we don't understand. That's the whole point of faith.

That's the whole point of all of this. Do we trust Him? Do we trust Him and then obey Him? Even though it may sound horrific and Saul was sent to do a deed that was really quite unpleasant and pretty violent and it wasn't that he was squeamish that he didn't do what he was told, he thought he'd take a few shortcuts. Oh, I'm doing this for the Lord. I'm doing this for the Lord. And Scripture is very clear, that's not what He's looking for. He's looking for obedience. And as you care for a loved one, as unto the Lord, do it out of obedience, trusting that in God's economy this makes sense.

We may not see it in this lifetime, but in His economy it makes sense. We don't have to be despairing. We don't have to fear. We don't have to fall into all kinds of anguish about this. We can trust Him and stay calm and have, yes indeed, hope for the caregiver. This is Peter Rosenberger. Hopeforthecaregiver.com. We'll see you next time.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-27 08:32:49 / 2022-12-27 08:50:20 / 18

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