Summary: Our pain draws us closer to Jesus and makes us more like Him

Title: Life is hard-God is good.

Place: BLCC

Date: 2/11/18

Text: Romans 8.28

CT: Our pain draws us closer to Jesus and makes us more like Him

[Screen 1]

Doctors make a lot of recommendations for their patients. But do they incorporate these suggestions into their own lives? An article in The Wall Street Journal had a number of doctors weigh in on this question. One doctor noted that doctors often warn their patients about stress and burn out, and yet a survey from Johns Hopkins and the Mayo Clinic found that 40 percent of surgeons said they were burned out.

A doctor of internal medicine from California insightfully said, "We tell our patients to avoid stress, to not work too hard, to balance their professional and personal lives. Yet many of us who dole out this advice completely ignore it ourselves … We ignore it because it is [darn] hard to follow. Rather than closing our eyes to this well-meaning bit of hypocrisy, we'd do well to confess our own struggles to our patients."

Another doctor lamented that doctors often tell their patients to pursue life balance but "From relentless studying in pre-med years fueled by vending machines and burned coffee, to medical school's brutal avalanche of information, many of us take our own health for granted. Often, we fail to see that our lack of balance affects our ability to care for patients with compassion and focus."

What Is the Most Common Piece of Advice Doctors Give—;but Don't Take? The Wall Street Journal (8-11-14)

LS. The hardest person to give grace too is often ourselves. We let our busyness and drive to so much that we forget to live a graceful life.

I’m in the last sermon of the series on Grace is Greater. God’s grace is compelling when explained but irresistible when experienced. I have tried in this series to be sure you experience grace not just learn what it is. Grace is greater than our mistakes, our bitterness, our hurts, and our vengeance. We have looked at how these keep us from giving grace and letting it flow to others. We have discovered the importance of forgiving even those who try to hurt us. Not for their benefit but for our own as followers of Jesus.

The sermon today is titled [Screen 2] Life is Hard-God Is Good. We all have our struggles that make life hard but we have God on our side that makes our life still good.

In 1921 a missionary couple from Sweden named David and Svea Flood went with their two-year-old son to the heart of Africa. They met up with another missionary couple and the four of them decided to take the gospel to a remote area where people had never heard about Jesus.

Unfortunately, when they arrived, the chief of the tribe wouldn’t let them live in the village. They were forced to live about a mile away, and their only contact with anyone from the village was with a young boy whom the chief allowed to come sell them food. Svea ended up leading that young boy to faith in Jesus, but that was their only progress. They never had contact with anyone else from the village. Eventually the other couple contracted malaria and left. The Floods were on their own. And soon Svea, who was pregnant, also contracted malaria. She died several days after giving birth.

Her husband dug a crude grave, buried his twenty-seven-year-old wife, and went back to the main mission station. He gave his newborn baby girl to the missionaries there and said, “I’m going back to Sweden. I’ve lost my wife. I obviously can’t take care of

this baby. God has ruined my life.”

And he took his son and left. Missionaries adopted his baby daughter and brought her back to the United States to raise her. At this point in the story I can’t help but wonder why a man of such faith would respond this way. I have never had to deal with this kind of disappointment and heartache, but it seems like the pain was just too much. His life seemed completely ruined. Beyond repair. From his perspective this was how his story ended. There was no coming back from such loss.

When I was a kid there were these books that let you pick your own ending. When you got to a certain part in the book you got to choose what you wanted to do next. The ones I had were Star Trek versions of these books. These books have sold over 250 million copies over the years. I’m not surprised. Most of us would prefer to choose our own ending. We like the idea that we can change our circumstances and decide our own outcomes. It would be great if we had a real Option B that would allow us to avoid problems and dodge difficulties.

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