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Summary: Life is not without pain but even though we go through painful experiences God can take them and use them for a great gain in our life.

No Pain, No Gain

Leave the past and move into the future!

Thesis: Life is not without pain but even though we go through painful experiences God can take them and use them for a great gain in our life.

Text: I Peter 1:1-9

1 Peter 1:1 (NIV)

1Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,

To God’s elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia,

1 Peter 1:2 (NIV)

2who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood:

Grace and peace be yours in abundance.

1 Peter 1:3 (NIV)

3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

1 Peter 1:4 (NIV)

4and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade-kept in heaven for you,

1 Peter 1:5 (NIV)

5who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

1 Peter 1:6 (NIV)

6In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.

1 Peter 1:7 (NIV)

7These have come so that your faith-of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire-may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

1 Peter 1:8 (NIV)

8Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,

1 Peter 1:9 (NIV)

9for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Romans 5:3,4

Romans 5:3 (NIV)

3Not only so, but we£ also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;

Romans 5:4 (NIV)

4perseverance, character; and character, hope.

Introduction:

We are currently on the brink of entering a new year 2001. Many of us have gone through various trials over the past year and beyond. We are here tonight to seek the Lord and to be encouraged as we push forward into this new year. Some of you have been planning out your New Years resolution others just want this year to be over with. Some are excited about the future and some just are not sure they can press on.

Maycinik states, "Am I going to make it? Can I stay true to Jesus? Sooner or later, each of us wonders. Some of us ask these three questions when a trusted spiritual leader turns his back on the Lord. It scares us. If he didn’t have what it takes, how can I expect to finish strong? Or we begin to wonder when the trials come hard and fast, and our strength is almost gone. How much longer can I hang on? Our commitment may waver when the child dies, or a spouse leaves, or a ministry crumbles in a tangle of betrayal and strife. When good prayers-prayer for healing, for protection, for provision-go unanswered, we may be tempted to give up" (42).

Today I want to talk about the importance of putting the past behind and moving into the future. But the only way we can do this is through getting a proper perspective on how to handle pain, trials, tribulations and suffering. So tonight we are going to learn the truth that if you never experience pain then you will never experience gain.

The Body builders motto, "No Pain No Gain!" Body builders accept the fact that to build up their bodies they must first endure the pain of workouts. They must tear down the muscle tissue so it will rebuild and become stronger. So it is in the spiritual developmental process. You have to learn to press through the workout to get the benefit physically. The same principle applies to spiritual fitness. Do you want stronger spiritual muscles? If your answer is yes! Then you need to endure the painful workout for a season and accept it as part of spiritual body building.

We must remember that hard times come from living in a fallen world but God promises to help us through. So first of all learn not to blame God for evil.

Illustration: Preaching Today "Evil isn’t God’s fault!"

Yes, evil has infiltrated the world we live in, that’s reality! With evil and sinfulness abounding comes the condition of a world with pain and suffering. Jesus endured the suffering and we will have to also but remember that Jesus pain gave us great gain. So be encouraged that when we suffer in pain -when we go through our spiritual workout- be encouraged because at the other end is personal gain.

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