Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: C.S. Lewis wrote: “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

Luke 8: 40-56

What motivates you to make changes in your life? Think back to a time when you made a change in your life and ask the question, “What motivated me to make that change?”

I’ve always been interested in what motivates people to make changes in their lives so this past week I did a little research on the topic. What I discovered from many studies in many different fields across the board was basically the same thing.

The greatest motivator in taking action to bring about change is . . . pain.

If I have hunger pains, I’m motivated to find something to eat. If I am experiencing the pain of no money, I soon get motivated to get a job. If I experience enough physical pain, I am motivated to see a doctor. If I am in a situation that is painful, I seek ways to rectify, reconcile, or remedy it.

Pain though unpleasant, is a strong motivator and can be a call to action.

C.S. Lewis wrote: “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

Hebrews 12:11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

And 1 Peter 4:12-13 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ.

So pain and suffering are normal? I thought it was something you were supposed to avoid at all costs?

James 1:2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

In other words, if I want to be mature as a Christian disciple, which is our entire goal, then I need to not run away from pain and problems, but use them to develop my faith. In other words: use the pain as an impetus for action and change.

Our passage tells us this morning that it was pain that lead two very different types of people to Jesus.

41 a man named Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him to come to his house 42because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying.

Jairus, a religious leader of the Capernaum Synagogue had not been previously known to be particularly friendly toward Jesus. In fact Jesus had been quite controversial during his previous visits which didn’t sit very well with Jairus. However, something had changed. Jairus was now desperately in pain. Though he may have detested Jesus, the anguish of his daughter’s imminent death now caused him to come to Jesus.

It was not his love for Jesus that brought him, nor was it what he hoped to do for Jesus that brought him. What brought him to Jesus was his desperation.

Folks, despair, pain and fear are often the prelude to grace, hope and faith. It often is when people find life beyond themselves that they look to someone bigger than themselves. In this hour of extreme need, Jairus came and “fell at the feet of Jesus and begged him to come to his house.”

It was during this time of great anguish and pain that this man of prestige and position cast aside all of his pride and reserved standoffishness and fell face first at the feet of Jesus with the hope that He might cast a lifeline to his little girl.

This synagogue leader from Capernaum now joined the ranks of a woman who just a few weeks before had wiped Jesus feet with her tears and her hair in the same town, but was considered an outcast, a woman of the streets.

And what drew this connection between the two, what connected these two people, one a synagogue leader and the other a woman of the street? Pain!

Pain was the motivating factor. Their pain caused them to look for a solution, an answer, and a way to alleviate the strain.

Jesus immediately went to help this man in need. And as He made His way through the crowd 43 a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but could heal her came up from behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.

Mark 5:26 records that she had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse.

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