Summary: The "Italian Stallion" faced some serious opponents. He squared off with the "Master of Disaster", "The Southside Slugger", and "The Siberian Express" just to name a few. Each time Rocky shocked the world! He won our hearts. He can also teach a thing o
Part 1 - The Pain Threshold
I don’t have to set the background much for Rocky. Everyone knows the gist of the movie. A local, hard hitting, undisciplined brawler gets the shot of a life time due to his marketable nickname “The Italian Stallion”. He enters the ring as an out of shape fighter and almost wins an epic battle against the “Master of Disaster”, “The King of Sting”, Apollo Creed the champion of the world. This first success sets the stage for another shot which he wins and then over the course of several more movies this soft, lumpy fighter transforms right before our eyes into a statuesque professional fighter. The highlight of the films other than the fight scenes is the grueling process Rocky endures each time to hone his body into a weapon. His training scenes have spawned real life work out routines that folks continue to follow today. Rocky’s journey to the championship was paved by pain! He worked out beyond human limits and pushed past his pain threshold into greatness. Rocky’s story is a story of pain interrupted by moments of victory! One of the Rocky Revelations that I want to share with you is about pain.
Pain is real. Pain is common. Pain is a part of life. Pain must be endured. But here is the one that you might not understand or like and that is pain is necessary.
It is hard to see pain as a friend. Many times we fight it. We all know people who have become bitter about it. We may have personally tried to ignore it in hopes that it would go away. Or perhaps we try to laugh it off. Have you ever dealt with a kid who has hurt a finger or a toe who is in complete panic mode? One way to settle them down is when you joke about cutting it off. We all have a pain threshold. We all have a level of pain that we just can’t seem to bear. Some of us seem to have a lower pain threshold while others seem to have a high threshold for pain.
Some of you haven’t really felt the sting of much pain. A bad day here or there. A broken heart perhaps. A stress headache or two. But even though you have felt like it was the end of the world it wasn’t really earth stopping. Others here have endured tragedy after tragedy. Loved ones taken before their time. Devastation. Ruin. Heart stopping and heartbreaking. Enough pain to cause most to quit. However, as bad as you have seen, there is an account in the Bible of perhaps the worst day ever. This man’s theme song was sung weekly on a show that most of you nothing about called Hee Haw. The song said, “Gloom, despair, and agony on me. Deep dark depression excessive misery. If it weren’t for bad luck I’d have no luck at all Gloom despair and agony on me!” Job could have sung this song with conviction.
Job 1:1-19; 2:7-8
1-3 Job was a man who lived in Uz. He was honest inside and out, a man of his word, who was totally devoted to God and hated evil with a passion. He had seven sons and three daughters. He was also very wealthy—seven thousand head of sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred teams of oxen, five hundred donkeys, and a huge staff of servants—the most influential man in all the East!
4-5 His sons used to take turns hosting parties in their homes, always inviting their three sisters to join them in their merrymaking. When the parties were over, Job would get up early in the morning and sacrifice a burnt offering for each of his children, thinking, "Maybe one of them sinned by defying God inwardly." Job made a habit of this sacrificial atonement, just in case they’d sinned.
6-7 One day when the angels came to report to God, Satan, who was the Designated Accuser, came along with them. God singled out Satan and said, "What have you been up to?"
Satan answered God, "Going here and there, checking things out on earth."
8 God said to Satan, "Have you noticed my friend Job? There’s no one quite like him—honest and true to his word, totally devoted to God and hating evil."
9-10 Satan retorted, "So do you think Job does all that out of the sheer goodness of his heart? Why, no one ever had it so good! You pamper him like a pet, make sure nothing bad ever happens to him or his family or his possessions, bless everything he does—he can’t lose!
11 "But what do you think would happen if you reached down and took away everything that is his? He’d curse you right to your face, that’s what."