Summary: Sometimes life makes us feel like we're getting pummeled. We're get pounded with left hooks and uppercuts and we don't have a chance to cover up and defend ourselves. Is this an appropriate analogy of how some of your days go? What can we do when life hurts?
WHEN LIFE HURTS
Does this picture depict how you feel sometimes? My Uncle Jeff passed away recently. He had three kids; one of whom used to attend here-Eric. Jeff's daughter, Chelsea, posted this picture on Facebook and I commented on it. What I shared is incorporated in the sermon.
1) When life hurts.
Sometimes life makes us feel like we're getting pummeled. We're getting pounded with left hooks and uppercuts and we don't have a chance to cover up and defend ourselves. Then we find ourselves lying on the canvas, dazed and confused. We make it to our feet and then the bell rings; ending the round. We stumble back to our corner and wonder if the next round will be worse.
We wonder how much more punishment we can take. How are we going to continue on? We try to think about our next move; what's our strategy going to be? Then the bell rings. We slowly rise from our stool and nervously step toward the center of the ring.
Does this sound like an appropriate analogy of how some of your days go? Maybe you're in a continual state of despair-you're stuck in a dead-end job where the boss is on your case about something all the time. Maybe you feel stuck in an abusive relationship and feel too afraid to try to make an escape. Maybe you've lost something or someone and life isn't nearly as pleasant as it once was.
Sometimes you feel like throwing in the towel but you find the strength to get up and press on. You get up because you have hope; you press on because you have a reason to. You move forward because of something bigger than yourself. So you fight. You might grunt and strain but you do it. Life hurts but you choose to push through the pain; you're a survivor.
We can find the source of our resiliency when we look to Jesus. Jesus was treated unfairly by people; Jesus was hated by people. When Jesus was arrested all his close friends deserted him. Before you blame them we all would've done the same thing in that circumstance. But Jesus knows what it feels like to suffer. He knows what it feels like to be alone. He knows how it feels to lose people that were close to him.
Jesus knows pain. Often times life hurt for Jesus. But he persevered through it all to die on the cross and raise to life so that we would have not only hope but an example to live by. Sometimes it can seem like the only thing going right in our life is Jesus.
Ps 69:29, "I am in pain and distress; may your salvation, O God, protect me."
Sometimes life hurts and we're in anguish and misery. Sometimes the only thing that gets us through is our salvation; our relationship with Jesus. If nothing else is going right-Jesus is. Knowing that we are his protects us from getting to the point of wanting to give up.
Throughout the bible you will see a lot of examples of suffering; whether it be singular, like Job, or collective, like the Israelites. You'll see negative reactions to life's hurts as well as positive ones; it's all there for us to learn from. If you read through Psalms you will often see where the writer is baring his emotions and describing his pain. If you read Jeremiah you will see his sorrows. In fact, he was known as the weeping prophet.
Life was not a bed of roses for God's people. That's one of the things I like about the bible-it's real; it shows real people dealing with real problems. It's not a fairy tale-it's blood and guts; pain and struggles. But it's also victories and triumphs; hope and glory. It's about love and the extent God went because of his love for us.
The bible helps us to understand God and ourselves. It shows us about life-it's hurts and it's healings; it's sorrows and it's joys. Sometimes people think being a Christian means your life will be free from pain and sorrow. Not true. Being a Christian is an unbelievable blessing but that doesn't remove us from life's hurts.
Jesus told his disciples that they would be persecuted. But he also provided encouragement in facing life's hurts. He said in John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Sometimes life hurts but we have a Savior who has overcome the evil and darkness of the world and he will give us the power to overcome it too. We won't be able to escape life's hurts but in Jesus we will have the peace we need to get through them.