Summary: It interrupts comfort. It turns heaven into hell. Pain . . . it can cloud our vision or clear our vision. We must gain pain perspective.
Pt. 3 – People, Permanent, and Perfected Pain
You will remember that there are only three things that are certain in life . . . death, taxes, and then we added pain to the list because we are told in Genesis 3:19 that because of our own fallenness we will be:
“be working in pain all your life long.”
So pain is promised and it is real. Our pain is caused by our fallenness but the hope we have is in our fatherdness. God, in light of promised pain, then says “I am ever present help in the time of need!” So, although pain is promised so is His presence. So we struggle with perspective not because we believe God causes pain (we understand the source of our pain) but rather we falter because we struggle with the idea that God uses our pain!
So we talked in week 1 about the fact that pain is a pervert. It causes us to pervert the picture about our past. We paint perverted pictures and have a tendency to call bondage freedom. Pain causes us to have selective amnesia! In our pain clouded perspective we pervert the season we begged, prayed, fasted to get out of into a season of pleasure. Pain causes us to forget the details. Pain causes us to forget reality! Then we talked about how pain will cause you to get angry at God and those He sends to help you! So we end up attacking those who are assigned to assist. So we tend to run to relief instead of relationships!
Last week we spoke about the plot of pain. Pain plots to get us to complain, compare, and ultimately check out of community, communion, and calling.
I wouldn't be telling you the truth if I didn't tell you to expect pain in life. Jesus, the Son of God, experienced our life in all of its facets. In fact, we love to quote Isaiah because it describes a Savior that we can relate to! We love the idea that Jesus' wasn't immune to our reality.
He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.
We love that! We have a Savior that went through what we go through and we find comfort in that. But the problem is we fail to continue to read and apply Jesus' experience to our own!
Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. After he has suffered, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.
Still, it’s what God had in mind all along, to crush him with pain. The plan was that he give himself as an offering for sin so that he’d see life come from it—life, life, and more life. And God’s plan will deeply prosper through him. Out of that terrible travail of soul, he’ll see that it’s worth it and be glad he did it. Through what he experienced, my righteous one, my servant, will make many “righteous ones,” as he himself carries the burden of their sins.