30 Days of Encouragement - Day 16
Oh, The Joy!
If you are reading this article, you probably played outside when you were a child. You remember running, climbing trees, chasing one another, getting hurt, falling down, and crying.
You also remember that you were having so much fun, you quickly nursed your hurt only long enough until you could get back in the game. As soon as the pain subsided, you were running, climbing, and chasing again. But, now you have new information. You learned something and your pain has changed you forever.
The human body, mind, and emotions want to avoid pain. Pain hurts, pain slows us down, and it makes us weak. However, it is unavoidable.
Our lives begin with pain. Our Mother grimaced in pain as her cervix expanded from 1 centimeter to 10 centimeters so we could be born. Who knows what the baby feels as he or she is being pushed, squished, rotated, and finally pulled out of their mom.
Anticipate It, But Don't Fear It
Because pain is a part of our entry into the world, we can anticipate that it will pain throughout our life. Whether intermittently, or infrequently, pain is coming. Don't be afraid or become paranoid. Continue to live fully, but know that there will be some pain.
Past pain prepares us for future pain. Once we are hurt in one area, we develop a response. We learn many, many things, and develop a variety of coping mechanisms. All these are stored away for future use.
Past pain teaches us that we can survive through it. We arose from the trauma, the tragedy, the devastation. Undefeated we rose, bruised, and slightly battered, but not defeated. In the way, we anticipate pain, we also anticipate victory over pain.
Jesus Did It - Our Example
Jesus anticipated the pain he would endure. He lay in the Garden of Gethsemane crying out to the Father. His body, and mind warring against His divine purpose.
The warfare building up anxiety, the anxiety triggering the body's "fight or flight" mechanism. Scripture says the result caused sweat to fall from His pores as "great drops of blood".
"And being in agony [deeply distressed and anguished; almost to the point of death], He prayed more intently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down on the ground. "
[Luke 22:44-Amplified version]
A Little Controversy
Some say this sweat was water. Others say it was blood. Whether water or blood, either way, the blood He shed before the cross was not the same as the blood He shed while on the cross.
What we know and believe is it is the blood He shed on the cross that holds the power of redemption for all mankind.
But, How "Do WE Do It?
King James Bible - 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
"Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."
Amplified Bible -1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
"Rejoice always and delight in your faith; be unceasing and persistent in prayer; In every situation[no matter what the circumstances] be thankful and continually give thanks to God; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus."
The Message Bible - 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
"Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live."
In EVERYTHING give thanks. Really? In Everything?
1. Someone betrayed me. [Give Thanks]
2. Someone stole from me. [Give Thanks]
3. They all abandoned me. [Give Thanks]
4. He/she abused me. [Give Thanks]
5. I am diseased, and I am afraid. [Give Thanks]
6. My loved one was killed. [Give Thanks]
7. I've lost everything. [Give Thanks]
8. My mind is confused. [Give Thanks]
9. My child is unruly, ill, rebellious, lazy, disobedient. [Give Thanks]
10. The worst thing that I can think of happened to me. [Give Thanks]
Why? Why Should I Give Thanks?
Because everything good that you are today came about because of both your joy and your pain. All of this made you the wonderful unique person that you are today.
Jesus endured the pain of the trial, the cross, death, and three days and three nights in the pit of Hell. Jesus knows the human experience. Jesus resisted our temptations, our trials, and our tests. Jesus did what we could not do, and it cost Him great pain. Jesus is our perfect redeemer.
And Jesus Forgave All
Jesus chose to take the pain because He had His eye on the outcome. Where are we looking? Like children, we should practice nursing our hurt only long enough until we can get back in the game.
Why not take a few minutes to honestly look at the people who hurt you and painful situations in your life. If you have forgiven them as Jesus did, then you see your growth from the experiences.
If you are still not healed from the pain, your freedom cannot come until you forgive. And, giving thanks is the gateway to the ability to forgive. Just like Jesus, the choice is yours.
In EVERYTHING give thanks. Be Blessed [1Thessalonians 5:16-18