Faithlife Sermons

Push Through the Pain, There's Purpose on the Other Side

Ezekiel   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Pain is not pleasant, nonetheless some of the greatest blessings are birthed from pain. When a woman gives birth to a child, the beautiful blessing that a child is comes on the other side of 9 months of enhanced senses, irritability, and the discomfort that comes with carrying a child. Eventually you make it to that special day of giving birth which more often than not has a lot of pain attached to it.
Marriage, as happy and blissful your marriage is there is some pain attached to it. The difference is the purpose and the covenant between you two is greater than allowing the pain to push toward the dissolving of the marriage.
So here we are at Ezekiel 24:15-16 “Also the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, behold, I take away from you the desire of your eyes with one stroke; yet you shall neither mourn nor weep, nor shall your tears run down.”
A lot of questions came to the surface when I read this text.
Why would God not allow this prophet to mourn his wife in public?
Why would God take his wife?
How is this suppose to be a lesson to the rebellious people in Jerusalem?
Here’s the message, sometimes the pain you are pushing through is a great lesson the people watching because they might just go through something similar and have to push through pain as well! There are times in our life that the pain we are pushing through will lead to the purpose we are looking for.

What Does it Mean to Mourn?

One of the first instances of mourning we see is in the book of Genesis. The bible tells us that Joseph will put his hands on their eyes, we see four chapters later that Joseph grieved his father as he prepared for burial.
Once a person died a few things happened under the law.
It was customary to tear one’s garments.
Put on sackcloth
Take off your shoes and headdress.
Cover their face
They would put earth on their heads or even roll themselves in dust.
Mourning would also include shaving their hair and beard.
They also refrained from washing and using perfumes.
Fasting is also a part of the mourning rites. Neighbors or friends would bring mourning bread and the cup of consolation to relatives of the deceased.
Food could not be prepared at the house because of death the house was rendered unclean.
As we progress to the life of Jesus we see that the grief is still there but the mourning changes. Jesus changed the idea of death, He overthrew death. He took the sting out of death and gained victory over death.
As Christians we mourn but the difference is we have hope in eternity through Jesus Christ.

The Text

The chapter begins with a parable. The people of God did not listen to the words, so God had to show them.
God was the great illustrator for their rebellious ways.
It’s similar to what the old adage that many of us heard from the older folks, “I can show you better than I can tell you”.
Ezekiel 24:14 “I, the Lord, have spoken it; It shall come to pass, and I will do it; I will not hold back, Nor will I spare, Nor will I relent; According to your ways And according to your deeds They will judge you,” Says the Lord God.’ ””
Some pots are not burn proof. If you burn what’s in there the pot is ruined. Judah ruined the pot of blessing that God has provided for them.
The sin Israel was simmering in had messed up what God has prepared for them.
Ezekiel 24:11-13 ““Then set the pot empty on the coals, That it may become hot and its bronze may burn, That its filthiness may be melted in it, That its scum may be consumed. She has grown weary with lies, And her great scum has not gone from her. Let her scum be in the fire! In your filthiness is lewdness. Because I have cleansed you, and you were not cleansed, You will not be cleansed of your filthiness anymore, Till I have caused My fury to rest upon you.”

Push Through the Pain

As it pertains to mourning, God used Ezekiel as an example. Understand that the leaders go through the same pain, the difference is I may have some pain on a Saturday night but come Sunday morning I have to tap in to the Holy Spirit because in effort to lead sometimes I have to push through the pain.
Behold, I take away from you the desire of your eyes with one stroke; yet you shall neither mourn nor weep, nor shall your tears run down, Sigh in silence.
We have to know that for every pain God allows us to go through he has enough comfort to sustain us.
Neither mourn nor weep
Nor shall your tears run down.
Sigh in silence
Make no mourning for the dead.
Don’t mourn in public.
Understand you make take the strength of your leaders for granted but trust and believe that just like Ezekiel had to do, they had to do.
Understand as a leader we mourn, we cry, we get upset but sometimes to remain in a pastoral position of protection we have to keep our turban on, sandals on and keep working.
It wasn’t just his wife dying, it was his wife dying in the midst of exile. Grief is one thing but having to grieve without community is a different monster.
Some of understand the pain of losing someone during a national crisis.
Sometimes in the midst of pain we have to push through without losing our purpose.
Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’”
We are pushing through pain for purpose because through Jesus death does not have the same power! I grieve but I’m not defeated because death no longer has the pain and power like it normally did.
Revelation 21:4 “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.””
I rejoice because no matter the pain my purpose still reigns supreme.
I may lose family members but my purpose is still God given and God sustained.
The people of God needed this lesson because sin and grief is never a reason to give up! God expects us to repent, God expects us to be Obedient!
We’ve got to push through the pain! Sometimes the lesson is not in the sermon or classes we teach, sometimes the sermon is in the lives we live.
Some of the best actors or method actors. They don’t just study the lines, they live like the character created in effort to immerse themselves in what they’ve been asked to do. When you look at the book of Ezekiel you see symbolism, dramatic acts and Ezekiel being the example.
In order to fulfill the role of being a Christian, being a leader, being a servant in the kingdom sometimes you will have to be the method actor the church needs. You’ll have to push through pain when life is filled with storms. You’ll have to preach like nothing is going on when in all actuality you are struggling to get out of bed. You’ll have to sing I still have joy like nothing is wrong when life is crumbling. This is what Jesus did on the cross. The people were rebellious and placed him on the cross but the methods He followed allowed him to cry out for forgiveness with nails in his hands and His body bloody and battered.
I push through the pain because there’s purpose on the other side.
Job pushed through losing family and wealth because there was purpose on the other side.
Paul pushed through incarceration and persecution because there was purpose on the other side.
Ruth pushed through losing her father in law, brother in law and husband because there was purpose on the other side.
Rahab pushed through the pain because purpose was on the other side!
Jesus pushed through the pain of betrayal and crucifixion because there was purpose on the other side.
I push through the pain of my community rebelling, politicians creating systems of oppression, the pain of losing family members, divorce, and church drama because there is purpose on the other side!
Ezekiel pushed through the pain of losing his wife, the apple of his eye, His helpmeet because there was purpose on the other side!
Psalm 23 “A Psalm of David. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.”
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