Yesterday we looked at the troubling topic of pain and learned one purpose – to prevent further injury of our body, seek help, and in the case of our soul’s pain – seek God.
“Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus.” Luke 1:30-31
Mary found favor with God – what did she get? Money? Success? Fame? Luxury?
Many of today’s preachers would emphatically tell you it is always God’s will to give everyone such blessings.
NO!! She received rejection! False accusations! Death threats! Childbirth! She got to watch her son die!
We suffer more for those we love than ourselves! Mary found favor with God – she was honored among women. She submitted patiently to the suffering– waiting for God to work out His plan.
Mary had God’s favor and God’s favor included a lot of suffering!
“During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, He offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save Him from death, and he was heard because of His reverent submission. Although He was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him…” Hebrews 5:7-8
Jesus cried and prayed – he was heard. He reverently submitted. He had to suffer. He learned obedience. He who healed others chose not to heal himself in order to submit to God’s will!?!
God can heal. God could have saved Jesus from death. God has a plan greater than ours.
And through the greatest tragedy the world has ever known – deicide – the death of God himself in Jesus Christ the world has found the greatest victory the world has ever known – the ability for humans to live in heaven with God himself!
If God can use the supreme evil act for the world’s supreme good act can he not use the pain in our lives for greater good?
Do not condemn your brother who prays earnestly and is not healed – God has a purpose and a plan for each of us. Remember:
“When thou passeth through the waters…they shall not overflow thee.” Isaiah 43:2
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
Today as I prepare for my GA lesson tomorrow I again am praying for the Christian evangelization efforts at the Olympics. (See Jan 4 post) Volunteers will be handing out Olympic information and travel guides for free along with information on how to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior. They will be manning handwarming stations at the cold outdoor events.
Lord, we do not understand suffering. I do know that you suffered greater than any person in history as you took on our sins. Forgive us for “whining” and “complaining” when you do not give us the answers that “we want.” We pray for your perfect will as we agonize over our friends and family who suffer in pain. We give you our faith and trust. We ask you to bless the volunteers at the Olympic games and ask for “holy coincidences” to spread the gospel into unreached places throughout the world. We love you, Jesus. In Jesus name. Amen.