Archive for the ‘Pain’ Category

I once had a coin that was dated back to the 1300’s. I was going to keep it so it would grow in value-I ended up losing it. Was it valuable? I will never know.

Some valuable relationships are often lost, while some have value to God but not necessarily to us. Genesis 21:8-21 reveals a story Abraham would not want to defend in a court of law. There were two sons, two moms, and one dad in this story. One mom and her son were sent into the desert and would have probably died except for God’s perspective of value.

Ishmael = God hears. And God did hear because Hagar and Ishmael were very valuable to God. Not so much to Abe, and for sure not at all to Sarah. But God is always attentive to our pain, confusion and irritations. He’s for us; we are valuable.

Check out Psalm 34:18 in the Message “If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there; If you’re kicked in the gut, he’ll help you catch your breath.” (Sweet action on God’s part!)

WHAT THIS MEANS: Think about an instance in which you wondered where God was as you dealt with pain, confusion…Did you get through it with JOY and CONFIDENCE of God’s provision and love? Or, is there some residue of anger, whining or complaints you have? Can you be vulnerable with someone about it?

DISCIPLESHIP THOUGHT: Growing as a disciple only happens when we are vulnerable with others. Look at 1 Thessalonians 2:8

In Joy and Sorrow-Pretending

In Joy and Sorrow-Pretending (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The year was 1956 and the group was the Platters. The song was “The Great Pretender.” It was popular in that year and unfortunately still popular today but there are different words. It may not be easy to detect in others but we recognize it in us. We know ourselves too well.

Jesus knew that the evil one would focus on wrecking our life if we got serious about following Him. He would use multiple strategies all of which were designed to steal the freedom and life Jesus gave us. Being more clever than we could ever imagine, satan throws many darts our way over the years and it becomes easier to give in to them and pretend and flash the same smile or serious look whenever it is necessary. In John 17:15 Jesus prayed for those in the first century and us today that we would be protected from the evil one. Some of that protection comes from other followers who love us enough to ask us hard but necessary questions to help us stay on track. We never outgrow the need for this.

Paul picked up on it in 1 Corinthians 15:58 and 16:13 saying we should stand firm and not to let anything knock us off of the road. These discomforts, heartaches or painful events are our teachers and there are many classes we must take to become the followers Jesus is after. We don’t have to pretend, we don’t have to give in to the junk satan has up his sleeve for us. He knows we are going to win the game but he puts up quite a fight.

Do you have someone in your life who will not let you get away with shallow answers to those questions that develop our life with Jesus and ministry with others?