Sunday, October 29, 2006

Ace's Sunday Sermon - Pain

Elijah after working one of the most spectacular miracles in God's name at mount Carmel, a day later cried out to God to "take his life". He wanted to die. Just the day before, acting in the name of God, Elijah challenged the people of the false god Baal to summons their god's presence.
The true God of Israel in the end showered fire upon Elijah's altar while while the god Baal was a no show. He was simply an idol god. After this amazind display Elijah commanded the the prophets of Baal be put to death at the end of a sword.

This motivated Jezabel to put a price on Elijah's head and Elijah, who had just witnessed the power of God, ran for his life, then asked God to take him. Find the above in 1 Kings 18 and 19.

Jonah, was a prophet of God who was asked to do one thing for God; preach to the sinful city of Nenevah. But Jonah had other plans and headed by ship to the city of Tarshish. God whipped up the ocean and the non-believers pretty much said to Jonah, "Bro, you're bad luck; you gots to go". So they flung him into the ocean where he was swallowed by a fish ala pinnochio. In the fish he prayed to God and repented. The fish spit him out on the beach where Jonah proceeded with God's will. Afterwards, because of his poor attitude, Jonah asked God to take him. God responded "Jonah, what right do you have to be angry?"

God allows pain to the point of the want of death. He even allows death to make his point (see John 11) as such was the case in the death of Lazarus. I've found 4 reasons that God allows pain in the believer's life. We'll examine them.

1. Correction. This is the easiest to understand. This is like letting a child burn their finger on the stove. You learn your lesson. Such was the case with Jonah. Such was the case many times with King David. His affair with Bathsheeba and the mortal coverup did not go un punished. Neither did his "census" go unpunished. And of course anyone that wasn't part of the 8 in the ark of Noah felt the wrath of God. The principal being, "ye shall reep what ye sow" Galatitians 6:7.

2. Protection. I can give a personal example of this. I was 3rd in line at an intersection. The woman that was first in line was either on her cell phone having a good time or she just fell asleep until the cars behind her started blowing their horns. The delay was about 10 seconds and we just barely made it thru the intersection. Coming in the opposite direction was a garbage truck that had deployed it's lift which grabbed a power line that pulled down a power pole which landed on the woman that was holding up traffic. Now I know it wasn't for the sake of correction that this woman was crushed like a pancake, but had she proceeded in a timely fashion, it would have been MY VAN that took the power pole. Needless to say, it was easy to surmise that the delay albeit a pain at the time, saved our lives.

In Joseph's life, his brothers wanted to kill him and leave him for dead. One of his brothers said, naw, let's sell him and get some money for him. So, although the pain of being sold into slavery was a pain, God spared his life for a greater cause. He protected him by making him a slave.

3. Perfection. Sometimes God uses pain to bring you into his will. Joseph as mentioned above spent 13 years in slavery, but God had blessed him with a dream of greatness and the ability to interpret dreams. When it was finally time for Joseph to manifested and freed from his bondage, God set up a situation in Egypt where Joseph's gift of interpretation was called on by Pharoah. Because of the interpretation of the dreams Pharoah was having, Joseph was freed from prison and made the prime minister of Egypt. In essence, the 2nd most powerful man in Egypt.

Job had his righteous life turned upside down and inside out, just so God could show Satan what a righteous man Job was. With the exception of Christ Jesus himself; you will probably not find another human who suffered more in the name God than Job. The sad part of the story is that Job never got his children back. He got more children, but I guess God felt Job would be blessed in reunion in heaven with his original children.

4. Man's free will. Sin. The fall in of Adam in Genesis. The 18 crushed by the Tower of Siloam in Luke 13.

It's the price of Free Will. God will repay you in heaven. As Jesus says in Luke 13:5 repent or you will all persih.


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