Summary: We should use our witness for Christ to show others God's love and power.

Don’t Waste the Pain

by: Joe M. Cherry

I. Introduction

A. Rom. 8:28 – “For we know that in everything God works for good with those who love

Him and are called according to His purpose.”

1. “Everything” is a combination of good and bad. The bad comes from:

a. living in a fallen world

b. self-inflicted wounds from addiction, pride, greediness, etc.

2. God can and will use evil to bring glory to Himself.

a. Gen. 50:15-20- READ – Joseph endured much undeserved pain.

b. Ex. 11:9 – Concerning the final plague – “Then the Lord said unto Moses,

Pharaoh will not listen to you; that my wonders may be multiplied in the land

of Egypt.” New Living Translation/Amplified Version – “miracles”

Actually, the harder Pharaoh’s heart got the more glory God received.

B. God will use weakness.

1. Gideon

a. Judges 6 – God picks Gideon to defeat the Midianites.

b. Gideon replies, “my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the weakest of

my father’s house.” God says in vs. 16 - “Surely I will be with you, and you

will strike down the Midianites, leaving none alive.”

2. Paul’s take on weakness.

a. Phil. 1:12 – even in chains God was glorified and the gospel was preached.

b. II Cor. 12:9 – Paul prayed that his thorn in the flesh be removed.

* God replies – “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect

in weakness.”

* Paul replies – “Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, so

that the power of Christ my rest upon me.”

II. Body – Using the Pain

A. God’s Plan for Us

1. The Gospel of Mark tells us that we are to go into the world, preach the gospel and

make disciples of all men.

2. He does not send us unarmed.

a. We have the gospel.

b. Eph. 6:10 ff – truth to gird our waist, breastplate of righteousness, feet are shod

with the gospel of peace, shield of Faith, helmet of salvation, and the sword of the


3. Another tool we possess is - “Our Witness”

a. Witness – comes from the Gr. word “martus” and it is also the where we get the

word martyr in English. There is a good possibility there will be pain involved

in our witness. Refer to Paul. He was beaten, shipwrecked, and imprisoned.

b. Gospel is “Good News” and it doesn’t stop at acceptance of Christ and baptism.

* Part 1 – Christ died for our sins.

* Part 2 – Christ is alive and working in our lives today! (More of a

continuation of the Good News.)

c. People need to see the good news as well as hear it.

B. We endure pain and heartache, as we struggle with our trials and shortcomings.

1. What good can possibly come from the pain? or “Why me?” Let’s see!

2. There is a circle to the pain.

a. We realize it’s there.

b. We become obsessed with it.

c. With God’s help, we overcome or gain the strength to endure.

3. Once the pain has come full circle, we have a story or a witness.

a. This story helps us to empathize.

1. Sympathize –I see a man struggling with a heroin addiction-I can’t relate so

for him. I have sympathy and pray God’s blessings upon them.

2. Empathize –I see a man struggling Financial problems or enjoying

the repercussions of running his/her big mouth when it should have stayed shut.

3. Jesus can empathize with us on every level:

Heb. 4:15 – “For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to empathize

with our weaknesses; but we have one that has been tempted in every way,

just as we are – yet He did not sin.” NIV…KJV says sympathize.

b. People connect to those who have had similar pains or problems.

1. It is very easy to quote scripture and point out sins, especially those with

which we do not struggle.

2. A bible over the head may be the solution but I don’t think it should be one

of our Top 5 choices. Let’s speak the truth in love

3. Christ nurtured those in pain and sin. John tells us that He came into this

world to save, not condemn.

III. Closing

A. We all have our demons.

1. Some we’ve overcome

2. Some we’re working on

3. Some (like Paul’s thorn in the flesh) we must endure.

B. What has God brought you through? Think for a minute.

1. Use it for Christ even though it might be painful.

a. Every one of us has a story to tell of how Christ has helped us through

difficult times.

b. Remind Me: “roll back the curtain of memory now and then, show me

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