Pain.  With seemingly no way around it, most of us end up trying to deny it while the remainder can’t keep from dwelling on it.  When we reject the pain and pretend it is not there we fall into the trap of not being able to be delivered as God desires.  However,  when we dwell on our pain, Satan successfully takes our eyes off Jesus who is the author and perfecter of our faith and places them on our circumstances instead of on Christ.  Satan doesn’t care which we one we choose and uses both to keep us in bondage.  Christ, on the other hand, wants to set us free and provides the ultimate example while in the garden praying before His crucifixion.

Going a little further, He fell face down and prayed, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup pass from Me.  Yet not as I will, but as You will.” Matthew 26:39

 Christ acknowledged to His Father, the agony and pain He knew was awaiting Him.  Jesus kept His Father’s will before His own knowing His Father knew what was best and would give Him the grace necessary to fulfill it.  The apostle Paul also understood the grace God gives in the midst of pain and reminds us to not deny or dwell on our pain, but instead acknowledge the pain and keep our eyes on Christ.

Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surround us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensures us.  Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne.  Hebrews 12:2

Yes, there are times of tears, sorrow, and agony in this life.  It is in pain we remember all those who went before us, including Christ, who kept their eyes on Jesus and their focus on the joy of walking in obedience to God no matter the pain or shame.

So next time when we begin to feel like this,

Oh, the pain!

may we remember Christ sits at the right hand of God waiting to deliver us!!

Lord, help us to lay aside the sin of denying or dwelling on our pain.  Help us to acknowledge it is there, but also have the strength to say, not my will, but Yours.  Hold our thoughts and minds captive and in obedience to Your will for Your glory.  In Jesus name, Amen

Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on theses things.  Philippians 4:8

For those days discouragement sets in and breakthrough seems far away

The Hardest Part of Faith

Sermon: A Crisis of Faith

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