Welcome to Welling, for your spiritual health and growth. During the first month of this year, I brought five talks about the new year. And what we might experience. We do not know what tomorrow brings. I don’t even know what the later part of today will bring. Sufficient to the day is the pain, thereof. As the Lord Jesus said, don’t be anxious about anything. My series has been five treatments of pain power.
In the series, we are going beyond pain as a clarifier and a connector, as a cleanser and a corrector to this final comment that pain is going to confirm something very deep about you.
At the end of the series, I want to complete it all because pain completes. It completes the process of being a point of pain to becoming a point of power. That’s pain power. Pain confirms and completes our entire view of life, our entire existence in life. We will never pursue pain for it’s own sake. That’s a romantic view of pain. That’s wrong. We will not run away from pain just because it is painful. That’s an avoidance view. That is wrong.
We don’t go looking for pain. We don’t run away from pain. But since it is a lot of the human situation that we will feel and face pain, whether it’s this physical pain, or mental pain, or relational pain, or intellectual pain, or emotional pain, or spiritual pain. A pain point is transferable, can be turned, translated, and transformed into a power point.
Because of pain, which confirms something about us and completes something in us. What does confirm? Pain confirms that there is a God. There’s a God who entered the human situation, gave himself to pain, violated– in his humanness– the Lord Jesus, but rose from the dead with victory and guarantees his presence and his activity in the middle of our pain.
God is active. That’s what pain confirms. God is not passive. That he is going to work pain together as master strategist and omni-synergist.
“God is good all the time” is what people repeat all over the world. “All the time God is good” is what the pastor says all over the world. I was in Southern Africa, they add a little feature to it. The speaker says “God is good.” The people say “all the time.” And then the speaker says “all the time.” And the people say “God is good.” And together they say, “and that’s his nature.” God is good. That’s his nature. Oh my, oh my, oh my– taken up with the goodness of God.
That’s what I want to leave you with today. Pain reminds me of who is God. I’m not. But I’m greatly dependent on the God who is God. But here’s another angle to it. I’m greatly expectant of the god who’s God who’s also good. That’s his nature. Oh my, oh my, oh my.
So when we approach him in the middle of pain, whatever pain you’re facing, there are different kinds of prayer– genuine prayer, ritual prayer, which is recitative, or magical prayer, which tries to control God. Instead, genuine prayer based on a friendship with God that is vital, confident of the God who is there, and God who hears, God who acts, God who cures, God who heals, God who intervenes, so much so that the author of the book of James says, when you pray in the middle of enduring temptation, enduring the multifaceted kind of trials that we face, ask of God for wisdom, for endurance in the trial, but ask in faith.” In faith, without doubt, especially about wisdom and how to handle pain.
The trials– many kinds that we face– have no doubt about God’s character, have no doubt about God’s ability. I have no doubt about God’s purpose, that God’s character is good. He is good all the time. God’s ability is powerful. He is able all the time, that God’s purposes will be accomplished. He’s the omni-strategist, the master synergistic, who’s going to bring all these things into a central unified result that we look like his son the Lord Jesus.
God’s power is accompanied with his supply, with grace, and hope, and peace, and joy in the middle of pain. This pain teaches us and trains us. When those who are willing to be trained by it provides the greatest spiritual advantage in spiritual maturity for the sake of ministry.
That’s why James writes, consider it joy, not just happiness. We don’t find happiness in the middle of pain. But there can be a gladness in the middle of encountering various trials. Because the testing that you face and feel, it brings to fruition a stable faith and a complete faith– nothing lacking at the end of it.
So go to God in prayer. Go to God in confidence and dependence, saying that you’re completing what you’re confirming. Through the experience of my pain, the point of pain is turned, and translated, and transformed into a point of power. The pain is a process by which you are making my faith stable and strong. And without pain, it will be weak and even false. Pain power– it takes the point of pain and translates it, transforms it into to the point of power.