Adult Bible Fellowship- HELP FOR HURT AND PAIN

Help for Hurt and Pain

ABF – February 2016

Background: Even in a healthy body, we sometimes experience pain. Pain is a gift from God when it forces us to stop and consider what God is teaching us. We need times to reflect. If we are not forced to slow down and stop, we will continue running in high gear with no time to consider applications of God’s word to our lives.

When we have a chronic pain, at some point we consult a doctor and find relief with a pain medication. Has God provided any relief for spiritual and emotional pain? What do we do when our spiritual life is hurting? What medication does God prescribe to hurting people and hurting churches?

First lets define what types of hurt we are talking about.
 
Pain caused by sin
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Some pain is a direct result of our own decisions. A man who has liver disease from excessive drinking learns the lesson that we reap what we sow. Cirrhosis is a dis­ease that can be a fatal if a man drinks to excess. Over a period of time, the body replaces healthy tissue with scar tissue, which will eventually cause the liver to stop functioning. Most of us know of someone who died of liver failure.

 

There is a remedy for sin, and therefore, a remedy for sickness caused by sin. The Bi­ble says,

James 5:14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:

15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.

  • If a man is sick, what are the steps that he needs to take?
  • Why call for the elders of the church?
  • Why must the person be anointed with oil?
  • What is the one condition that brings about healing?

James tells us that the prayer of faith will save the sick. There seems to be a correlation in this verse between the prayer of faith and the one who has committed sin. If the reason for the sickness is sin, then the prayer of faith will allow that sin to be forgiven, and the judgment removed. Some sins have a permanent result.

We read in 1 Corinthians 10:31

1 Corinthians 11:30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

In this passage, people in the church of Corinth were abusing the ordinance of the Lord’s supper. They were taking it as a meal, some were even getting drunk. “For this cause,” for the cause of eating in an unworthy manner, many were weak, sick and many were asleep, or they had died.

 

Some sickness is a result of personal sin, but that is not true for all sickness. Most sick­nesses are a result of universal sin, not personal sin. The disciples saw a blind man and they were assured that his blindness was a result of his sin or his parents’ sin. They asked,

John 9:2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?

They felt that someone had to be responsible for human disease and suffering. They

certainly could not reconcile that God would have a heavenly purpose for the sufferings of this children on this earth. The Lord’s answer must have surprised them,

John 9:3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.

It may be true that some sicknesses are a result of sin and can be prayed for and forgiv­en when confessed; other sicknesses and pain exists and there can be no remedy for that sin.

2 Chronicles 36:16 But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy.

 

We have all heard of household remedies. Some remedies have been passed on from generation to generation. The old school contained remedies for infections, for fever, for con­gestion, but there has never been a remedy for a cold. The common cold can be prevented in some cases, but it can’t be eliminated. There appears to be remedies for some sins, but there are sins that are beyond earthly solutions when it comes to the results of God’s judgment. Those who take the Mark of the Beast will never find forgiveness. Even while they still live, they are already condemned to hell, and there is no remedy.

Revelation 14:11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

Revelation 19:20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought mira­cles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive

Pain is for the glory of God.

We mentioned that the man was blind from birth for the glory of God.

  • Is it fair that one person is born healthy while another is born blind?
  • What makes it fair?
  • What does God know that we do not know?

Some earthly pain is a result of an accident. In most cases we know that the body will heal and the pain will eventually subside. There is another kind of pain. It is chronic. No mat­ter what we do, we can’t erase the pain that we feel. We have discovered drugs that can mask the symptoms so that the pain is tolerable. In some cases the pain is taken away completely by taking certain drugs. But when the drugs wear off, the pain returns.

 

Spiritually the same thing happens in a church. Some hurts are short lived.

Psalm 30:5 For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

In a church, we feel pain every time a family moves or leaves the church. That pain will be very hurtful for a time, but it is slowly taken away. New families come and new friends are formed.

 

At other times, the pain is chronic. It lasts for a long period of time. The hurt contin­ues. When a loved one dies, the pain may subside but it is always there. The apostle Paul had a chronic pain. He wanted that taken from him, but the Lord answered, “no.

 

2 Corinthians 12:7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.

8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.

9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weak­ness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in dis­tresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

  1. The pain is given “lest I should be exalted above measure.” Churches are like people, some are given more gifts than others.

Matthew 25:15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.

Paul was given many revelations, and those had the potential of building pride within his heart. To keep pride at bay, a thorn in the flesh was given to Paul.

  • What are some of the blessings that could generate pride in a church? Knowledge – 1 Corinthians 8:1
    • Gifts? Talents? Attendance?

 

  • What could happen in a church to keep a church from developing a pride?
  1. The thorn can hurt.
  • What does the word buffet mean? Does it hurt to be buffeted?
  • Who is doing the buffeting? Does that one love us?
  • Is a thorn hurtful? Can we live with a thorn?
  1. No one wants a chronic pain.
  • When we ask for this pain to be taken, will God remove it?
  • Did Paul want this thorn? Was it a problem in his life?

 

  1. Can a healthy church have thorns?

 

We assume that the healthier the church, the more thorns it can have. Why? Because healthy churches grow. Healthy churches receive blessings. Healthy churches are prone to pride.

  1. Pain can also be given to help us rest in his strength, not ours.

 

It is not just a question of pride. It is also a question of sufficiency. We are required to call upon our God. We are required to seek Him. We are required to look to Him for strength. When we get complacent, we look to our own strength. The thorn reminds us of a weak area, and a need to seek Him. Our success is linked to our connectedness to Christ and to His body. The pain cases us to seek help in times of need.

 

Pain that is a result of living on a cursed earth.

Some pain is a result of sin. Other pain is for the glory of God, to help us to rely totally upon God. Other times, pain is a part of life. We get sick. We die. We are living on a cursed earth. Hunger is a part of the curse. Exhaustion is a part of the curse. Old age is a part of the curse.

Christ did not experience old age, but he did experience hunger, thirst, and exhaustion. We read,

  1. He was hungry

Luke 4:2 Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.

  1. He was tired.

Mark 6:31 And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.

  1. He sorrowed.

Luke 22:44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

If Christ felt pain, then pain is not a result of sin, but it can be a result of living on a sin cursed earth. We hunger. We feel pressure. We feel sorrow. All of that is a result of being human. Christ was fully God, but He was also fully man, and he was touched with the feeling of our infirmities. That is not sin. It is a result of a sin cursed earth.

What do you do when you are hurting?

  1. We recognize that the pain has a purpose. We don’t run from pain. If God has said that all things work together for good to those who love Him, then pain is good for a child of God.
  2. We cast our cares on Him. 1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

We can’t shoulder the pain alone. We must give it to Him and allow Him to carry it. We still have it, but the weight is not on us. He cares for us.

  1. Look to the future when there will be no more pain.

1 Peter 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Je­sus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

Eternity is not framed with pain.

Revelation 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.