Focus: Being obedient in pain
Psalm 27:6 (NKJV) And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me; therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.
Wouldn’t it be nice if the pain you live with would just stop? I don’t know if there is such a thing as the absence of pain in this life. If you don’t live with physical pain of your own—having to observe the pain of others is enough to give you a heartache. There is only one answer to pain, and it’s Jesus.
Jesus was moved with compassion at the sight of people who were sick, blind, and lost. The conditions Jesus observed during the days He walked this earth are still present in the world today—and in the same way, the truth He spoke then is still true today.
Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33, NKJV) He said we could not only have peace in spite of trouble and tribulation, but also have the ability to be of good cheer.
Proverbs 17:22 (NLT) says, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.”
So how do we move from broken spirit to cheerful heart? By putting our trust in Jesus. He told us to be of good cheer because He had overcome the world. Do you trust what Jesus said?
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What Jesus wants for us, is to be cheerful in spite of what is going on around us and in spite of our pain.
There are many people who are wondering what’s going to happen to our country and to our world. I wonder, too—but, I also know what the Word of God says.
Romans 8:31-39 (NASB) offers this comfort: “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, “For Your sake we are being put to death all day long; We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
A day is coming when all pain will stop. That is a reason to rejoice and be cheerful. If we can’t find anything to be cheerful about in our present circumstances, at least we have the promise of a future that is bright and full of hope. No more suffering, no more pain, no more tribulation. Only peace.
I have to be reminded to ‘lighten up’ sometimes, myself. More than once, I’ve been in a store or somewhere, concentrating on what I was doing and not thinking about ‘what I looked like’. A total stranger had to say to me, “Smile, it’s not that bad” or something to that effect. I was embarrassed to realize that I must have looked miserable for them to say such a thing!
Do you ever stop to think about what you look like? Do the people around you observe you as a person who is filled with peace and cheer? To that question, you might respond, “Well, if they knew what I’m going through—they wouldn’t blame me.”
I don’t doubt that you might be going through a lot—so am I, actually. So is everyone. Jesus told us we would all go through a lot, but that we should still have peace and be cheerful in spite of our circumstances, because He had overcome the world.
Declaration: I will find new strength by doing what I’ve been told to do: “Have peace and be filled with cheer.” I may have to go through the motions at first—but the emotions will follow, if I’m obedient.
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All NEW STRENGTH posts are Copyright by Christina Cook Lee 2012. Please request permission to re-post or re-blog.