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March 25, 2021 12:00 am
Says we genetically and enthusiastically praise God not only for his grace. But for this pressure. This suffering and you wonder is he having a temporary moment of opposite like Santa. None of us would ever sing a song that goes like this.
Thank you Lord for all of my trouble.
Thank you Lord that things never work out. Thank you Lord for giving me problems. I am thanking you now is my world falls apart, the truth remains we all struggle with praising God against Adam and Eve and pain in the depths parcel. We even experience pain that was caused by people who are close to us.
The question for you today is this, what's your perspective on the pain in your life.
Have you ever thought about pain is one of God's gifts to you. It's not a pleasant gift like piece and grace, but it comes from God and it is a gift. Would you like to know how that can be true. Well here's Stephen David with a message from God's word called the gift of pain according to the sled to the king who lived in India had a unique way of dealing with somebody didn't like this king of course having everything at his disposal gave this obnoxious person a very special present a rare white elephant.
A real one, it seemed to be a great honor to get such a rare gift from the king. In fact, the king acted as if it was a rare privilege, but he knew the truth. The person who did receive the gift because it was a white elephant couldn't do it anyway.
India was considered divine or sacred, and so could be forced to work so all it did was eat and eat and eat and eat of the person and receive the gift eventually went bankrupt just keeping the white elephant alive. He could give away because it was a present from the king so he was stuck literally with a white elephant. There you have it, and that amazing. Have you ever receive the gift didn't want have ever opened the package from somebody and you knew immediately that you got a gift for that distant relative for next year and the disorder tucked away you pull it out send it over what we been discovering the gifts that God has given us in this list of Romans chapter 5 and we discovered the wonderful gifts of peace and the gift of grace and how we exalt in the grace in which we stand. Now the apostle Paul who is continuing to work his way down the list of gifts comes to one that Shirley has landed on the wrong page you read where he writes in verse three, which is where we left off and not only this, but we also exalt in our what are tribulations you could render the word pain or stress you go up to verse two and you track right along with them, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand and we exalt. There's the word we fervently triumphantly passionately praise him.
Verse three. Not only this, but we also fervently passionately praise him for our pain as you move through the list to discover the third perfect gift from God is nothing less then the gift of pain, trouble suffering, affliction.
If you're like me when you read the list and you get to that when you take a second glance because Shirley Paul is saying that we are now the gift of pain that would be a white elephant gift if there ever was one. You're going to get that one away stick that over here rapid and handed to some unsuspecting person later, but it's true. Paul says we energetically and enthusiastically praise God not only for his grace. But for this thing the Greek word is… For this pressure. This suffering and you wonder is he having a temporary moment of apostolic insanity. Does he mean it would ever do that. I never heard anybody say there's been a lot of pressure in my life right now and nothing is working out on this praising God for that none of us would ever sing a song that goes like this. Thank you Lord for all of my troubles.
Thank you Lord that things never work out. Thank you Lord for giving me problems. I am thanking you now is my world falls apart.
I wrote that this last week, nobody will ever sing that one. The truth remains we all struggle with praising God for the gift of pain. Let me talk in general. First of all, about the subject of physical there are two things that I want to bring your attention.
First of all physical pain is an unavoidable part of life. Thomas Jefferson, when he wrote to a friend long time ago said that the art of life is avoiding pain that sounds good but is that wrong. The art of life is not avoiding pain. The art of life is learning how to respond to pay. The truth is the experience of living has everything to do with how you live through the experience of living now follow me closely here every one of us that only experiences pain physical pain in life, but we actually began life with listen is. Philip Yancey describes the event your world is dark safe, secure your bathe in a warm liquid cushion from shock you do nothing for yourself that automatically in a murmuring heartbeat assures you that someone larger than you feels all your need, your life consists of simply waiting you're not sure what you're waiting for, but any change seems far away you meet with little discomfort of any there are no threatening adventures.
It is a fine when they feel a tug, then another and then another. The walls seem to be falling in on you those soft cushions are now pulsating and beating against you, crushing you downwards. Your body is bent in half your limbs twisted and wrenched your falling upside down for the first time in your life you feel pain you're in a sea of roiling matter. There's pressure almost too intense to bear your head is squeezed nearly flat and you are pushed harder and harder and all the noise, the pressure you hear the sounds of screaming and crying and groaning and an awful fear rushes in on you.
It's happening, your world is collapsing your shirts the end of whatever there would've been using a piercing light, cold, rough hands pulling you a painful slap. Congratulations, you've just been born.
Welcome to the world and that wonderful to none of us can remember that what an ordeal.
The first experience in life that always had delivered a message implicitly. The pain is an unavoidable part of life.
Second, pain is not only unavoidable, but it is essential to life. Many people think that physical pain is God's. One great mistake I've read that it's his mistake. The nervous system with its millions of pain sensors always gets bad press.
If God is so wise, why wouldn't he create an awesome ability to never feel pain would not be great. Let me reshape your perspective with Dr. Paul Brand has revealed a man whose live his life time working with lepers. Hansen's disease which leprosy is actually called slowly destroys its victims because they do not feel pain. The disease primarily acts as an anesthetic numbing the pain cells of hands and nose and ears and eyes eaten legs. While most diseases are feared because of pain this diseases to be feared because you feel no pain. The destruction of fingers and eyes and feet and other limbs follows simply because the warning signs of pain are missing. Dr. Brent talks about working in Africa and India and Asia, and I have seen people myself in some of those countries with leprosy. He talks about how a leper will reach his hand directly into the fire to retrieve a dropped potato, never thinking, never hesitated why feels no pain now has the effects and still feels no pain with the effects. Nothing in his body told him he cannot do that. Patients of Dr. Brown's hospital in India would work all day gripping a shovel with a protruding nail in their hand and never know they would walk on shattered glass and never feel the pain of their burning and bleeding feet. Patients will slowly go blind because their eyes never felt the discomfort that you and I feel throughout our day, which causes us to repeatedly blink cleansing her eyes. They won't twisted ankle and there will be the tearing of tendon and muscle, but unlike us where we would bandage it or I said or limped or stay off of it, or sit down or something they simply adjust their walk and their foot is ruined and repair their leg they will adjust and walk crooked the rest of their life until factor leg is damaged beyond repair and has to be removed. No wonder Dr. Paul Brand said this, he said thank God for inventing pain all pain of courses. Not good. Sometimes it's the flaring up of pain which communicate something to be repaired and fixed.
It cannot be fixed or repaired but for the majority of cases.
Physical pain is God's warning signal and without it, none of us would survive for very long. So pain is not only inevitable, but it is essential, so also Paul in Romans five is basically saying the same thing that the pain of the motion the stress that we feel in our hearts. The afflictions and the adversities of life are not only unavoidable or inevitable.
They are also essential.
Would you notice what he did not say in verse three he did not say and not only this, but we also exalt if our tribulations come, he implied that they would we exalt in our tribulations.
The apostle Peter said as much when he wrote, beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing as though some strange or surprising thing were happening to you, but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing. Will that asks the question, why did Christ suffer with Christ suffered with rejection and abandonment and misunderstandings and ridiculing physical beatings and indignities and ultimately death. But as you then fellowship with those sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing the right, so that also at the revelation of his glory, you may rejoice with exultation is the same word the apostle Paul uses what he says exalt and tribulation fervently intensely rejoice.
I believe I can safely summarize the trials of our lives in the six categories of things I want to experience which don't have things I don't want to experience that happened things I like I don't have things I don't like. I have things I'm waiting for never come things. I'm not ready for calm early.
Surely these things would not affect the sons and daughters of the King. Surely the gifts of adversity and affliction and pain are what we could call white elephant gifts.
They are from some perturbed sovereign who is upset with his subjects where they neither given by a weak God who just couldn't keep that from happening there. People who decided either one of those. Throughout the course of history.
Surely a powerful God would only design wonderful things to happen to us. Will Solomon clears our perspective by writing in this way. Consider the work of God. For who is able to straighten what he has bent in the day of prosperity be happy and in the day of adversity. Remember, God has made the one day as well as the other. Ecclesiastes 7 1340. That verse is probably the most ignored verse in 21st century Christianity.
Everybody seems convinced that God wants everybody to have prosperity and blessing. Surely God would not bring days of adversity. But Solomon said it himself under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, God produces the day of blessing God allows his work producing the day of adversity. He doesn't create sin, but he allows the effects of evil to bring about that which is good. We know from Scripture, so both are in his hand. Both are within his power to think about it what what would you say to an accident victim won't you say at the bedside of the terminally ill person.
What answer do you give to somebody standing next to fresh graves, but the scene of a violent crime. What we need are more people who will admit that life according to the word of God has both prosperity and adversity and the times are in God's hands.
Somebody needs to admit that life is more like a war zone with real battles and real bullets and real blood. There is sickness there is heartache there is disappointment there are crippling accidents. There are crushing experiences. There are tears and there is death, but stop ignoring it and acting as if surely a believer would not be affected by those those are gifts for people. God doesn't love did you find in Scripture. Those are gifts for people that God loves BC. We need more believers today will face the realities of life. With the right theology, not with the error that is rampant in our church and in our day that God's primary purpose for existing is to make us all happy.
His primary purpose is that we bring him glory, which means we are made to be holy and when we are holy we truly can understand something of joy. I would like somebody to remind us who like the apostle Paul that it is wonderful to fellowship not only with the power of Christ's resurrection, but the fellowship of his sufferings over that person said the person would say, for starters, the tribulation and affliction is God's designed gift. The apostle Paul wrote for to you it has been granted for Christ's sake. That's the phraseology of the gift you're ready. He saying it is been given you the gift for Christ sake not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for his sake people today who say all suffering is wrong. All who suffer are out of the will of God. All disease is a result of either lack of faith or sin. If you have trouble in your life or adversity. It's because you're not looking to him. Listen to a great man of faith record out of his own personal life, and I quote him.
We have been afflicted in every way, but not crushed. We have been perplexed, but not despairing. We are persecuted, but not forsaken, we are struck down its metaphor of a wrestler.
We are thrown into the mat, but we are not pinned down. Second Corinthians 4, 79, that's what I call overcoming the adversities of life that let me say first of all, the tribulation. In general, which is inevitable and also essential is used by God in a couple of different ways in our lives in general. One God can use tribulation to correct us. David wrote in Psalm 119.
Before I was afflicted same word in the Greek Septuagint found in Romans chapter 5 before I was pressed before I was crushed.
I went astray.
But now I keep my word, and he found that to be true in your own life, he writes, it is good for me that I was afflicted that I might learn my statutes, I know Lord that thy judgments are righteous and that in faithfulness, thou hast afflicted, much like a parent who afflicts a child so the Lord often uses painful ordeals to arrest our attention and to protect us from even greater harm. That's only one part of God uses tribulation not only to correct us but also to construct us and that's the thought of Paul as he talks about this word tribulation here. He goes on to write, we also exult in our tribulations why because there are some building blocks that are going to occur in the life of the believer.
We know the tribulation brings about perseverance. Perseverance brings about proven character, proven character brings about hope and hope this kind of hope does not disappoint.
So here's the first of the three building blocks that he tells us God is using to construct our lives.
Here's what's built. First of all, pain produces perseverance. Now you know as well as I do the will is been talking on the subject of justification in these previous verses. He has talked about what justification has done for us is given us the gift of peace and grace.
Now he is in effect telling us what justification does inside of us.
These are things that happen inside of you.
Did you ever think about the fact that justification can give you peace but it cannot be patient. How many of you would characterize yourselves as a wonderfully patient person.
It's unanimous proof that when you came to faith in Christ.
You were given justification and were given peace by the justification but not patient's this is something that will happen inside of us. Justification can give you grace but it cannot make a godly that's the course of life. Justification is the foundation. Paul now talks about the construction of this and he says, in effect, that it will be pain, it will be pressure. It will be stress, it will be affliction. It will be disappointment, it will be hurt that produces coupon Monday.
The ability to bear under the discipline that an athlete reaches after they tear their muscle and they rebuild it stronger and tear it again and rebuild it. Now the ready for a longer run.
Nobody gets up in the morning of the sides. They will complete a marathon short runs and then longer runs, and even longer and then they have developed who put money they been able to endure the pain they now run the marathon. Secondly, perseverance produces. He says purity my translation says proven character document. It's a word that refers to the absence of impurities and it goes back to the ancient goldsmiths of Paul's day, a word that carries with it the idea of their practice.
They would refine their crude gold or in their crucible.
The only way to separate the gold from unwanted material was to apply intense heat and bring it to liquid form and when they did the impurities would rise separating from the gold rise to the surface and that ancient goldsmiths would skim it away. He would apply more heat and more impurities would rise and he would skim it away in the goldsmith in Paul's day knew when the gold was sure he could look into the back of the Potter, whatever it was, and he could clearly see his reflection without the impurities getting in the way Job said he knows the way I take. And when he has tested me, I shall come forth as pure gold. Imagine of God is desiring then to see his reflection in our character. Perhaps the heat is still intense in some area of our lives simply because he has yet his reflection tribulation produces perseverance. Perseverance produces purity. Finally, purity produces perspective.
Look at the latter part of verse four.
He says proven character produces hope my translation reads we could call this eternal perspective. This kind of hope sees beyond your life it sees God and work through the course of time, God doesn't in our lives at at the moment we want relieve our pain. He does promise to transform our pain and use it so that it actually builds us up with perseverance in purity and perspective, but that requires eyes on eternity is what authors that was what gave Peter hope. Listen to what he wrote in this you greatly rejoice. Here's the theme of joy again in this you rejoice, though now for a little while it may be you have been grieved by various trials. Why that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire may be found. That is may be created to ultimately praise and honor and glory at the site of Jesus Christ. If you had Peter in here you ask the Peter you going to difficulty in pressure and adversity.
What gets you excited and he would say something like I'm going to see him. I know that this testing by fire will be replaced with the visible side and revelation of Jesus Christ. First Peter 167.
In other words, God's promise to set things right. We as believers surrendered to the adversities of life, but behind us.
Is this perspective that we will allow history to finish. Let history finish while you wait to give him glory. And while you suffer you honor him.
And while you receive that which you don't want to don't get what you do want you glory and him alone to discover in him the one who will finish history, the one who is to be her greatest desire. Anyway, Paul goes on in verse five.
Say what you hope like that you will not be disappointed. How many times have you said well I had hoped and you complete your sentence somewhere will. I'd hoped and that person I had hoped and that cure. I had hoped. In that interview I had hoped in that purchase. I had hoped and that child had hoped and that friend. I had hoped in that investment. Paul says when you hope in God, you will never be disappointed. So we are to hope in him that the end ladies and gentlemen, Jesus Christ will ride on the wind.
He will come and settle things right and we will not care to even have our answers to the questions we've had them because it won't matter. That's eyes on eternity at a holdfast well accepting the gift of peace and grace and pain its correction, its construction and when you accept the gifts, all of them and you surrender to them. You'll find your heart opening and your lips opening with honor and glory and praise. Now you won't do it like you will do can do it now. I give you the illustration of Fanny Crosby with a lot of hymns in our hymnal written by this woman. When she was only six weeks old. She had a minor eye inflammation and proper medical treatment left her completely blind. She would later write these words quote it seemed intended by the blessed providence of God that I should be blind all my life and I thanked him for it. She would write that her blindness quote was God's gift so that I could write song for his glory and she would gonna write hundreds of them. We we've sung them here and we sing them to God be the glory, great things he had done face-to-face with Christ, my Savior all the way my Savior leads me blessed assurance, Jesus is mine and she wrote her first poem when she was eight years of age.
Listen how she expressed praise and glory to God and the acceptance of this even as a young girl. She wrote these words in her very first poem. Oh what a happy child.
I am although I cannot see I am resolved that in this world, contented I will be how many blessings I enjoy that other people don't. So we were side because I'm blind, I cannot and I won't.
That's what I would call something of pain for use of I realize that at the moment thinking of pain as a gift is not an easy thing to do but have you considered that God is using your pain and is working through it. Our response is to accept it. Surrender to it and allow God to transform us even through the hurt of pain. This is wisdom for the heart with Steven David. Today's lesson is simply called pain.
If you missed a portion of this lesson, you can go to our website and listen again that addresses wisdom online.or you'll find this and all of Stephen's other messages posted there my name is Scott Wiley and I thank you for listening today.
Make plans to join us tomorrow. Right here on wisdom for the heart