Category: When Jesus You And Pain Meet
Sometimes we feel overlooked, forgotten, or unimportant. Sometimes it feels like:
Jesus walked by and left me in my pain.
And we often ask the question, Where is Jesus in my pain.
Read on to learn how Jesus is closer than you think. BUT FIRST, read John 5:1-17
Some insights on John 5:1-17
V. 2 “Pool of Bethesda” Bethesda means house of mercy or kindness. The name itself would spark hope. A place to find relief from pain.
V. 3-5 “...a multitude of those who were sick, blind, lame, and withered...” There were many who needed to be healed, yet only one was healed. The others could only watch. Can you identify with them?
V. 6-7 “Sir, I have no man …” The Greek word is ἄνθρωπος - a human being. In other words he was looking for earthly solutions.
V. 8-9 “Jesus said to him…”
Some of the sick may have heard what Jesus had done in Capernaum at Peter’s mother-in-law’s house. He healed many. (Mark 1:32-34) Why isn’t Jesus healing many like He did then?
V. 10-13 “...Jesus had slipped away…”
Jesus slipped away. ἐκνεύω—to escape, slip away secretly, to literally swim away through the crowd. Imagine Jesus wiggling His way through the crowd trying to squeeze past people so that He can blend in. Often Jesus works in the back ground. Just because Jesus is silent does not mean that He is not working on your behalf.
V. 14 “Behold, you have become well; do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse happens to you.” The impact and consequences of sin are much worse.
But what about the others? The room was full of people in pain. Can you hear them say, “Jesus walked by and left me in my pain.”?
5 lessons about Jesus, you, and pain
1. We can be so obsessed with wanting relief from our pain that we miss the message that Jesus has for us in our pain. Psalm 119:71 “It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes”. Isaiah 55:9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts. Jesus, being generous, full of kindness, the embodiment of mercy, heals only when it is best for you.
2. Our heavenly Father’s primary purpose is not to fix our earthly problems. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
3. The power of Christ can be seen in my weakness because of His sustaining grace. And because of this sustaining grace, I can have a unique intimacy with Christ. 2 Corinthians 12:9,10 “And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.”
4. Jesus is so concerned about your spiritual state that He will use your physical pain to lead you to spiritual healing and growth. We should pray about all our needs, believing that God always desires the best for us. Matthew 6:8 “...your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.”
5. Sometimes God does bring the physical healing we desire. Sometimes He does not. This is because He has purpose in our pain. Joni Eareckson Tada has this to say about her spiritual journey and spiritual healing. “It is because of this healing that I got to a point to where I can earnestly say, I would rather be in this chair knowing Jesus than to stand on my feet without Him. And it was through this journey of healing that I made the rich, wonderful discovery that there are more important things than walking.” (A Journey ‘Beside Bethesda’)
His focus is on your growth and transformation.
His focus is on your eternal state.
His focus is on you intimate relationship with Him.
GOD’S WORD AND MY PAIN
Psalm 34:18 “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (NASB)
Hebrews 4:15-16 “This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. (NLT)
Lamentations 3:19-14 “Lord, remember my suffering and my misery, my sorrow and trouble. Please remember me and think about me. But I have hope when I think of this: The Lord’s love never ends; His mercies never stop. They are new every morning ..I say to myself, ‘The Lord is mine, so I hope in Him.’”
Revelation 21:4 “and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” (NASB)
Category: When Jesus You And Pain Meet
What pain is staring you in the face? For one father in the Bible, his pain was the image of his dying child.
With each step he took, he felt the pain of the possibility of losing his child. That possibility was staring him in right in the face. It would have been a long and painful journey when he traveled to see Jesus!
This article contains a few lessons to remember when Jesus stretches your faith in the face of pain.
The Story of a Hurting Father
John 4:46 So He (Jesus) came again to Cana in Galilee, where he had made the water wine. And at Capernaum there was an official whose son was ill.
(From Cana to Capernaum was about a days walk)
V 47 When this man heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went to him and asked (BEGGED ) him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death.
(This father’s request came from one of the deepest pains a parent can experience)
V 48 So Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.”
(You need to see things before you believe in Me and My work. You have limited perspective)
V 49 The official said to him, “Sir, come down before my child dies.”
(The man must have felt: Helpless. Desperation for self and child. Responsibility for his family. Jesus is the only hope)
V 50 Jesus said to him, “Go; your son lives.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way.
(Jesus said some powerful words. “Go”—not with me, just — “Go; your son lives”)
The father longed to hear those words, but not right then. He would have expected to hear those words after Jesus traveled back with him, while Jesus was standing in his house, after Jesus laid His hands on his son, but not here—not now—not when the pain was so fresh, so deep, and hope so far from reality.
When Jesus said, “Go your way, your son lives” He was saying, “Yes, I will heal your son but, walk by faith until you see My will revealed to you.”
The father walked alone in faith until the next day.
Can you imagine how the time would have passed? We are told that the father believed the words of Jesus (so he was walking in faith), but each step home was not what he had pictured.
He may have thought he would have Jesus walking beside him—but now he is alone! Yes, surrounded by his entourage, but in his thoughts, very alone.
He may have thought he would be having encouraging conversations with Jesus, but now four words were going through his mind: “Go, your son lives.”
Yesterday, those four words had filled him with faith in Jesus and hope of what He was doing for his dying son. Today, those four words may have been replaced with questions: “How could I leave without demanding that Jesus come back with me?…What will I say …What will I say to my son?…Should I turn around, go back, and negotiate with Jesus so that he will do things my way?”
In the midst of the father’s loneliness and crowded thoughts, he took one obedient step at a time to his home. In the midst of doubt or self-defeating thoughts, he would have hung onto the four words that Jesus gave him, “Go, your son lives.” He choose to believe.
V 51-53 Then, up ahead he saw one of his servants approaching him. “Why is he coming?... It must be news about my son... What happened? ... Is my son dead?... What about what Jesus said?... Don’t jump to conclusions... Control your anxiety... One step at a time... Wait for the news... Don’t start thinking or living in an unconfirmed reality… Wait until you hear what he says...”
The servant is now close enough to see his face and hear his voice…with a beaming face the servant yells, “YOUR SON LIVES!” The word used implies a sense of dependency.
This helpless father went to the one who helpless people go to, Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
What can we learn from this father’s experience with pain?
· He experienced one of the deepest pains a parent can experience.
· He was desperate enough to stay on his journey until he found real help.
· He was desperate enough to express his need for help.
· He felt the responsibility of his child and family depending upon him.
· His wealth and position were useless in this situation
· Jesus was his only hope.
· His hope transformed into faith.
· He found strength in obedience.
· His life was changed.
What can we learn from Jesus’ response?
· My perspective is limited.
· My trust is often stretched.
· I am often asked to walk alone and with very little insight.
· I may have to wait for confirmation.
· The answer may not be what I expect.
· Whatever pain is staring you in the face will fade away when the words of Jesus are obeyed in faith.
Most stories include pain.
There is another story when our Heavenly Father had to stare pain in the face. This Father saw His son die a pain filled death. Luke 23 describes the agony that Jesus suffered. It also reveals the intimacy between the Father and the Son. (Luke 23:34, 56)
When you allow God to stretch your faith in the midst of your pain, you will see a lot more than the pain that is staring you in the face. You will see your Heavenly Father.
Category: When Jesus You And Pain Meet
In John 4:5-42 we find an encounter that Jesus had with a woman in pain. She was not just in pain, she had been ignoring the pain that had been in her life for years. As a result of ignoring her pain, she was living an empty and unfulfilled life.
Let’s look at a few aspects of her encounter with Jesus to see what can be gleaned about Jesus, you, and pain.
Why do we ignore pain?
· Often, pain is what we know. It is what we are used to living with. And if we get rid of the pain, that means change. We are not always ready for the unknown of change.
· We can ignore pain because we get hooked on the adrenaline of pain. It may sound odd, but our brains can get used to the feeling of pain.
· We also get hooked on the vice that relieves the pain. So, we keep the pain in order to enjoy the vice.
Before continuing take the time to read John 4:5-42
What are some of the inner pains that we ignore?
1. The pain of being disappointed in ourselves “You have five husbands and the man you have now is not your husband” John 4:18
We often believe the lie that there is someone or something out there that will make us feel complete (5 husbands and test driving another possibility). Complete acceptance of ourselves is only found in Christ. We often ignore the pain in life, or try to hide the pain with meaningless relationships and imitation love. Self-acceptance on our own merit is called idol worship. Acceptance of yourself through Christ is called grace, which leads to true worship of Christ.
2. The pain of not feeling understood
“He told me everything I ever did”. John 4:39
She finally faced a man that knew her. He is beyond husband material - she had an encounter with God!
3. The Pain of not being valued by others
“a woman of Samaria” John 4:9
Life is full of people and events that make us insecure.
We have a Savior who sees us, values us, and meets with us for meaningful interaction.
Why face the pain?
Jesus wants to point out the pain that you are ignoring so that…
-You can receive the fullness in this life that He offers. “Living water”. Abundant life. Un-surrendered pain robs us of a full life. Pain surrendered to Jesus brings meaning to life.
-You may “never thirst again” You do not have to be hindered or manipulated by that pain. We often settle for substitutes instead of true healing, and fulfillment.
-You can be a voice to this world that pain has a cure: Jesus!
“Many Samaritans from that town believed in Him because of the woman's testimony, ... and He stayed there two days. And many more believed because of His word. They said to the woman, ‘It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.’” John 4:39-42
The healing from your pain that you experience can be used by God to point others to Jesus.”
Two Powerful Words. “He stayed” - Wow, what a concept! Jesus stays with us. Just two words - but they can provide such comfort.
You may not always notice Him. You may not hear Him. But He stays close so that you may believe more than you did before.
What is your relationship with pain?
“When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations
delight my soul.”
“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.”
1 Peter 5:6, 7
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Jesus meets us right in our pain, in the most common places of life…like at a well.
What is one of the most common locations in your life? Meet Jesus there and ask him these three questions:
1. “What pain am I ignoring?”
2. “How can I be a voice in the world for You?”
3. “Will You please lead me to the person I can lead back to you?”