Ministry of Love

The intention of this blog is to share Biblical messages at least on a weekly basis. Any response is appreciated. I do not expect everyone to agree with my interpretation of Biblical passages. I will try to respond with love and thoughtfulness.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

one of Man's Last Enemies Is Pain. by John

One of Man's Last Enemies Is Pain.
Revelation 21:1-4

1. God is aware of everything that goes on in our lives, and He is touched by our problems.
2. One of the last enemies to be removed from mankind is pain.
3. Hospitals, doctors, nurses, seek to relieve pain while a person heals or dies. Parents try to insulate their children from, and to relieve them from pain, when they can.
(1) We hurt when the kids hurt, right?
(2) Some of us hurt when we see anyone hurt, but we may not realize that pain is one of God's gifts to us.

I. Pain is a Part of Living on Earth.

1. Every living person experiences pain, and certainly almost all of God's creatures do, too.
(1) I was amazed in elementary school when we were introduced to microscopes. I had heard about "germs." Now I saw microbes!
(2) The Amoeba didn't look like anything to me, a blob maybe, but it moved! It was alive!
(3) More than that, we were allowed to interrupt the amoeba's path with a very sharp needle-point. The amoeba moved away from it. It recognized it as dangerous, or maybe it felt pain!
2. We like to avoid pain when possible, don't we, and that's a healthy response up to a point.
(1) For instance, it is wise to have a tooth cavity filled immediately rather than wait until it aches or has to be pulled.
(2) Having a tooth pulled hurts more than a filling, and refusing to have it filled or pulled can result in far more pain, maybe even death!
3. Many people live with constant pain that sometimes becomes unbearable.
(1) The loss of loved ones never leaves.
(2) Pain incurred by loved ones may also last a lifetime.
4. Doctors provide medical solutions to ease chronic, physical pain when the cause cannot be removed.
5. Counseling is another resource for those who need to resolve or cope with psychological pain.
6. A different sort of pain is caused by unhealthy relationships. Sometimes we may have to resort to forming new relationships with different people.
7. I've struggled to gain a Biblical concept of pain, but I'm not sure that I've gained it.
(1) Some form of the word "pain" appears in 36 verses in the King James Bible.
(2) It is used in 60 verses in the New American Standard.
(3) It appears in 67 verses in the New International Version of the Bible.
a. That seems to be a progression in translation, doesn't it?
b. I examined all of those instances, but I suspect the different numbers are a result of translation. The KJ translators deliberately used as many definitions as they could for both Hebrew and Greek words. They wanted to give variety to God's Word without changing the meaning.
8. When all else fails, it is definitely time to turn our pain over to God. He can handle it!

II. We All Know Pain Is Inevitable.

1. In the seconds since I said that, you may have already thought, "Is it inevitable?"
2. It is because pain is part of our bodies' warning system.
(1) Without pain, we would not know when we were sick.
(2) We might walk around on a broken ankle until infection killed us.
(3) We could hold our hand in fire unaware that we were being burned.
(4) Pain may be an acute, sharp warning that calls for immediate response! Or it may be a dull, constant reminder that something needs attention.
3. Pain reveals the needs of our bodies and our psyches.
(1) The pain associated with hunger and thirst are examples.
(2) You can continue that thought about other bodily functions but I don't think it is necessary.
4. Pain is a gift God has given us to promote our heath, and the stronger the pain the greater the need!
5. We know all of these things, don't we? I haven't said anything with which you are not already familiar, right?
6. Bayer, St. Joseph, and all of the drug companies base much of their prospective income on the inevitability of pain! And they make billions of dollars!
7. We should see pain as the precurser of action!

III. We Need to Understand the Value and Effect of Pain.

1. By that, I mean our pain affects everything around us.
(1) My wife has asked me many times, "Are you hungry?" or she may say, "You are hungry, aren't you?"
(2) Her thought turns to my need because, I get hard to live with when I'm hungry! Who wants to be around a grumpy old man?
(3) You see, pain always affects everyone around us.
2. It hurts our productivity.
(1) You've probably heard someone say, "I have a splitting headache! I just can't get anything done!"
(2) Have you ever had a parent, a boss, a friend, or teacher tell you to do something totally unreasonable just because they weren't feeling well? If you have had that happen, it's a pain, isn't it?
3. The way we handle pain either spoils our improves our personality and our Christian witness!
(1) People expect Christians to be kind, peaceful, good-natured, don't they? But sometimes when we are hurting, we are anything but those!
(2) What do they think when we aren't?
4. If someone is always negative, pessimistic and grumpy, do you like to be around them?
5. Even if we know they are experiencing pain, we don't have to like it, and we don't, but we may have the grace to put up with it.
5. Pain can hurt our productivity, our personality, our Christian witness, our relationship with others and our opinion of ourselves.
6. Pain makes some of us even dislike ourselves! So finding and correcting the cause is definitely valuable all the way around.

IV. We Need to See Pain as Either Blessing or Testing.

1. Even a test will become a blessing when we pass it.
2. In this life, we must control our pain.
(1) Some eastern mystics work for years on the assumption that mind can control matter. They block out pain mentally. How well they do it, I don't know.
(2) Too many of us seek a medicine bottle to make us functional.
(3) Too much of the world does not realize that the One Who installed our pain-signals can also control our pain.
a. He may control pain with healing. (Do I believe in doctors? Not exactly. I believe God has given us knowledgeable people [doctors] to help us stay healthy, or to help us regain health when we lose it.)
3. One way God may help us is to raise our pain threshold.
(1) When God told Ananias to lay his hands on Paul and restore his sight in Acts 9:13, Ananias objected. In v 15, God called Paul a "chosen vessel" and in 16 He said, "I will show him how much he must suffer for my name." Paul did suffer...
(2) In II Corinthians 12:9, Paul had prayed three times to have a physical problem healed. God didn't do it. He said, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Paul's resulting attitude made him extremely useful to the Lord. Paul said, "Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak then I am strong."

V. Pain Is Only for This Life on Earth.

1. In Revelation 21:4,5 God's Word says, "He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. He who was seated on the throne said, 'I am making everything new!'"
2. We think the worst that could happened has already happened, but it hasn't. In Revelation 19, The Lord punished the great
prostitute because she corrupted the earth by her adulteries, and shed the blood of God's servants. That's yet to happen!
3. People who haven't suffered say, What difference does that make? God's servants live forever anyway! Didn't you quote Paul when he said, "For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain"?
4. No one wants to hurt!
(1) It's true, pain dulls with time, but even the memory of it is painful, and the memory of it is painful to those who love the person who hurts.
(2) God loves all of His servants, and He promises nothing will happen to us that we cannot bear.
(3) Jacob before Pharaoh in Genesis 47:9, " The years of my pilgrimage are a hundred and thirty. My years have been few and difficult, and they do not equal the years of the pilgrimage of my fathers."
5. Life may seem like a pain to you, but it will stop when you leave this earth if you are in Christ.
(1) Do you remember what Jesus said in Mark 9:47,48? "If your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched."
(2) That's eternal pain and anguish, folks! None of us want that.


1. Pain is a part of our lives on earth.
2. It's God's gift to help us maintain our body's health.
3. It is inevitable that we will have all of the several kinds of pain in our lives.
4. To help us bear it, we need to understand its value and the effect it has on us and others.
5. Pain has no part in heaven. One of the last enemies of our lives is the end of pain, and God told us there is none in heaven.
6. On the other hand, there is no end to pain for those who do not make Jesus their Lord and Savior.
7. That's something you can take care of right now as we pray.

4/02/06 Emmanuel Community Church.


Post a Comment

<< Home