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Painful Testimony

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The Gift of Trials

Trails can be difficult and downright painful. One can logically know their trial is but a testimony waiting on it’s victory, but it doesn’t diminish the pain and the feeling of being alone, abandoned.
David, the Great man of Faith Penned these words
Psalm 6:2–3 ESV
Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing; heal me, O Lord, for my bones are troubled. My soul also is greatly troubled. But you, O Lord—how long?
How you ever felt like David? Or Jesus on the cross—why have you abandoned me?
We know that God takes away our pain, but he cannot take away your pain if he isn’t listening.
We try to recall all the verses that state God takes away our pain, but then the little voice comes into our brain--he cannot take away your pain if he isn’t listening.
A lesson from my wife: When my oldest two were little I can remember the pain of bed time. It wasn’t so much painful for my kids. Yes the screamed, the cried, they beckoned for mommy and when mommy wouldn’t come they scream louder in their distress. Sleep training is hard on a mother. I remember telling her multiple times that bed training was for the own good. That they weren’t actually hurting. I remember the pain in my wife’s eyes as she sat there helplessly listening to their cries knowing that ultimately the tears now would help them in the long run, but it never diminished her pain.
For the most part now, my kids got to bed on their own, Ali sometimes will still not want to go to bed, but it isn’t a fight like it used to be. They grew, they matured, the developed.
On the other hand I have seen children whose parents didn’t want to suffer through the crying. They would rescue their children from bedtime distress and now 6-8 years later—bed time is still difficult.
I read this week about Nick Vijicic. Nick was born with no arms and no legs. His mom and dad were pastors, and upon receiving the news concerning his condition, they began to question God. On Nick’s website he quotes his parents saying “If God is a God of love then why would he let something like this happen, and especially to committed Christians.”
Now I know no one has ever stated that in their life. God why—I followed you, I loved you. Why am I suffering now?
Nick struggled at school where other students bullied and rejected him. At that stage of in my childhood,” Nick stated, “I could understand God’s love to a point. But…I still got hung up on the fact that if God really loved me, why did he make me like this? I (Nick) Wondered if I’d done something wrong and begun to feel certain that this must be true.”
Nick battled thoughts of suicide and with depression most of his younger years until he turned 15. Where Nick stated that “God began to instill a passion of sharing my story and experiences to help others cope with whatever challenge they might have in their lives. Nick states “Turning my struggles into something that would glorify God and bless others, I realized my purpose.”
This week I began to struggle with the idea of too much information. For those that know me I suffer from open book syndrome. So I began to pray: Lord help me to shut my mouth. I believe God told me If no one tells them how will they know? Through my past experiences I have come to a point where I don’t hide my struggles because in hiding my struggles I am hiding my testimony. People cannot appreciate the blessing of obedience if they never knew the cost of that obedience.
Staggering statistics tells us that a good portion of the unsaved population believe that Christians are hypocritical. The reason is because people in the collective church pretend to have it all together. The issue with this cover is that it has only served to hinder the gospel because the only people they were hiding their failures from was themselves.
Isaiah 48:1
Isaiah 48:10 ESV
Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction.
Isaiah 48:10–11 ESV
Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction. For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another.
God is stating that he uses our struggles to further his purpose. People can only know a saving God if they have seen his salvation. Many times the first way they see his salvation is through other people’s testimony. People will never understand your victory if they don’t know your struggles.
This idea is simply illustrated in mountain climbing. If the goal of the mountain climber was to reach the top of the mountain there are easier ways, a helicopter for example, to stand on the tip of a mountain. A climbers goal isn’t the top of the mountain it’s overcoming the struggles of getting to the top. Success and failure isn’t found on top of the mountain…it’s found only in journey to the top. We do not appriciate a climbers great feat until we understand the struggles he had to overcome.
We would appreciate a story of a mountain climber who climbed and entire mountain in 70 degree weather, on paved roads, free from bugs and danger. Yet, we hang on the words of a mountain climber who fought freezing temperatures, rugged terrain, tough climbs, and wild animals. At the point where the climbers are about to give up is where we, the audience get the most entranced. Why because success isn’t sweet unless failure is an option.
Nick’s testimony comes from his disadvantage from having no arms or legs. If he had overcome an ugly mole on his nose we wouldn’t be so inspired.
Sometimes the struggle isn’t an embarrassment it’s a testimony and your testimony set you in the right position to give glory to God for your redemption.
Revelation 12:11 ESV
And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.
There are several points to look at in this verse.
Salvation is through Christ
Salvations happen through our weakness revealed and God’s strength glorified
They didn’t love their lives—meaning they weren’t afraid of persecution.
I have found that many people protect their failures because of embarrassment, but it’s through our suffering, through our struggles, and our short comings that people will realize the greatness and love of the God we serve. People think that I have done too much to be loved by God—let me tell you how much I have failed.
I was financially in trouble, let me show you how obeying God’s laws showed me how to have a proper view of money.
Struggles will come, failures will happen, but God can use what the devil meant for destruction to further his Kingdom. There may be some here that are going through a painful time, a time of wondering in the wilderness. You are asking God for clarity and nothing seems to be coming. Understand you are called for a purpose, set a side as a chosen one of God. The struggles you face now will be nothing more than war stories in your arsenal to reaching your world. Your pain has a purpose. Not only is it refining you, it’s serving to free others.
But Pastor God isn’t replying. I am suffering, hurting, I have prayed for loved ones with no fruit.
After C.S. Lewis lost his wife to cancer and sensed no reply. He dared to ask “What can this mean? Why is He so present a commander in our time of prosperity and so very absent a help in time of trouble.”
Psalm
Psalm 6:2–3 ESV
Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing; heal me, O Lord, for my bones are troubled. My soul also is greatly troubled. But you, O Lord—how long?
One can logically know their trial is but a testimony waiting on it’s victory, but it doesn’t diminish the pain and the feeling of being alone, abandoned.
We know that God takes away our pain, but he cannot take away your pain if he isn’t listening.
A lesson from my wife: When my oldest two were little I can remember the pain of bed time. It wasn’t so much painful for my kids. Yes the screamed, the cried, they beckoned for mommy and when mommy wouldn’t come they scream louder in their distress. Sleep training is hard on a mother. I remember telling her multiple times that bed training was for the own good. That they weren’t actually hurting. I remember the pain in my wife’s eyes as she sat there helplessly listening to their cries knowing that ultimately the tears now would help them in the long run, but it never diminished her pain.
For the most part now, my kids got to bed on their own, Ali sometimes will still not want to go to bed, but it isn’t a fight like it used to be. They grew, they matured, the developed.
On the other hand I have seen children whose parents didn’t want to suffer through the crying. They would rescue their children from bedtime distress and now 6-8 years later—bed time is still difficult.
I sometimes can imagine Jesus, sitting at God’s right hand—like a mother listening to her child cry. Jesus-Can I save them now? God- No son. But their pain—I know son. Let me send Gabriel. No son, they need to endure. When they learn to rely on me life won’t be so painful. This pain now will rescue them from worse tears and trials later.
God remind
I find it’s often on the other side of trials that I find out the reason for the pain I am experiencing. Being poor has been the best thing in my life—It taught me how not to manage money. It wasn’t fun in the time of trial, but it was necessary. Learning how to handle money when I have none makes it easier to handle when you get it.
1 Peter 1:3–7 ESV
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
I receive comfort in knowing that my trails not only impact me now, but benefit me in the time that comes. That though you are grieved for a time there is a reward at the end of the tunnel. That coupled with the ability to help people get relief from their pain though it may be through mine allows me to share that in that moment on the cross where Jesus suffered— that we can endure a painful trial for the benefit of someone else’s relief.
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