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God is Teaching Me Five Lessons Through Pain

Mark Finley
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Mark Finley

Assistant to President for Evangelism at the General Conference

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  • March 26, 2021
    7:00 PM
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The last 5 months have been really unusual for me and I want to talk to you about my journey with pain the lessons that God is teaching me now if you would have asked me a few months ago back in the month of August Bessemer house your health I would have told you that I'm really doing well at 75 My energy level is high I've no unusual aches or pains I would have told you that the previous condition called m. Gussy is well under control but then things dramatically changed the last 5 months have been really unusual Let me explain in September I noticed a rash on my left hip that rash began to go around the my back I also noticed some very serious pain in my leg when I attempted to get medical care I was misdiagnosed and the pain persisted the rash got bigger I couldn't sleep I was up all night walking the floor finally a medical physician friend of mine diagnosed me with shingles but because I was diagnosed too late I had really a terrible time with it the shingles lasted 2 months the pain was intense I wasn't able to sleep much what I was attempting to teach or preach I had to either hold out of the pulpit or about which air. After 8 weeks that was just about over for a week or 2 and I was getting a Bible study at our new retreat center is on the 2nd floor explaining the 2nd coming of Christ by pointing at Nathan Green's picture on the blessid hope as I turned to point out something in the picture I slipped and fell went down of flight they have to stairs hit the rail he cracked my sternum cracked my ribs and went down the stairs in my back eventually I was taken to the hospital they said that there was bloody some internal bleeding I was taken by ambulance from that hospital in a market for Junior to a trauma center and fortunately the internal bleeding was from the extra low blow that took to my sternum the pain was intense it took a nother 6 or 8 weeks for that to clear up and I was beginning to see who hoard what's going on here and then the in the month of January my wife and I said well let's go down to Florida take a little break and do our work for that with over 19 we can do my speaking for a variety of places we got here and one day we want is right or bike since I was putting a bike in the car it got stuck in the door and I went to twist it and I heard a terrible cracking in my back just like somebody cracking a stick and went to my knees eventual had to be taken to the hospital and they could not move and discovered that there was some damage to the lower back and for the last 6 or 8 weeks I've been getting treatment for that 1st a series of injections and something called an opposition with a going in for the nerves. The last few months one thing after the other you know I teased my wife and I said no to me if God is trying to teach me something I really want it were and quick. I want to share with you my journey in pain and 5 lessons that God has taught me you know when you're lying flat on your back you have an opportunity to do a lot of thinking the 1st lesson that God is teaching me is this that these bodies that we have are very frail these bodies we have are very feeble The apostle Paul says in the 2nd Corinthians Chapter 4 verse 7 to 11 the Apostle Paul puts it this way starting with the 7th verse but we have this treasure that is the treasure of Christ that is the preciousness of Jesus we have this treasure the vessels that the excellence the a power baby of God not of us so our bodies like the earth in vessels the original language there is cracked pox so we're feeble. It's really important to keep in mind that our bodies are subject to sickness suffering disease into that health is a gift that God has given us. To be appreciated to be preserved to be cared for Notice what the Bible says were hard pressed on every side you were not crush were perplexed but not in despair were persecuted but not for seek it was struck down but not destroyed always caring about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus Christ that the life of Jesus baby manifest their body here is the 1st thing that God has taught me through these last 5 months of pain with the shingles with a cracked sternum with the ribs with the back serious back injury God has taught me this that no matter how good I think my health is I'm always inches from disease no matter how strong my body is I'm just inches from that next accident and what God has taught me is that health care is a gift and to cherish it to the value it every day you can walk thank God every day you can take a deep breath thank God every day you can have another healthy day without sickness suffering or pain thank God And if you are going through pain quote The Apostle Paul that you know that your have this treasure of Christ in this earth invest so that we may be cast down but were not destroyed over the outward man is perishing the inner person can be renewed day by day now the 2nd lesson that I've learned in my struggle is this that Christ is always with us in our suffering but that He allows us at times to go through suffering so that we can comfort others in their suffering. Our pain helps us to be more sensitive to others who are going through pain it deepens also our understanding of the pain the Christ went through for example 2nd Corinthians Chapter one Verse 337 I think this is one of my favorite texts in the Bible on pain and suffering 2nd Corinthians Chapter 133 step it blessid be the God and Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ the Father of mercies and the God of all comforts who comforts us in all our tribulation what does Jesus do what is he to he comforts us and tribulation why that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble with the comfort with which we are selves are comforted of God So going through this pain I sensed the presence of God when I was lying on my bed flat couldn't get out of bed it was so painful that I could not even get out of bed if I go to the bathroom at night my wife at the common help me on a bed I would almost fall on the floor because I couldn't get up but I sense that Christ was comforting me in the tribulation why so good as I minister to others I can understand their pain I can understand what this physical suffering is like notice next x. verse verse 4 who comforts us in our tribulation that we might be able to comfort those who are in any trouble with the comfort that we are selves or comforted of God For us the sufferings of Christ about in us so our consolation also abounds through Christ now if we are afflicted that's if we suffer if we're going through pain it is for your consolation in salvation which is affective for enduring the same sufferings which we suffer in our hope for you verse 7 is steadfast because we know that you are particulars of the suffering so you partake of the consolation. Here's what Paul is saying when we go through sufferings it teaches us 2 basic lessons the 1st lesson in suffering and pain is this will do we who receive comfort from God are able to comfort others in their suffering so pain then enables me to understand what others are going through so I can comfort them but there's a 2nd aspect that Paul is talking about in that passage of pain and it is simply this when we suffer we understand Jesus' sufferings whatever physical suffering I have had these last 5 months is not near anything like Jesus suffering I'm across the physical pain the mental pain the anguish so as we go through pain here it helps us to a den to fight with Christ sufferings it helps us wondrous thing and what he went through so the 1st 2 lessons of pain number one our bodies are feeble Number 2 is suffering pain enables us to comfort others enables us understand Jesus suffering 3. Here is another aspect of pain that is so critically important that God gives to us we have never we never have to bear anything that Christ is not already born for us and will not be there to strengthen us this to me it's a key point as I lay there on my bed after my back injury saying caught was high 5 months of suffering I began to think about the fact that Jesus whatever I have to go through you are here Jesus sure they are by my side if there is strength and be your there encourage me and the Apostle Paul points that out to a 2nd Corinthians we find it here in chapter 12 2nd Corinthians Chapter 12 verse 7 to knowing. In the west I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of revelations he sometimes go to ways you find in your back so that you will not have a proud American exalted attitude so you give more color to him he allows that to happen God never causes pain he never causes suffering he's the god of health he is the out of healing but at times he allows the natural result of the sinful world that we live in to take place in all that suffering we can wear glasses and lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations a thorn in the flesh was given to me a messenger of Satan notice God didn't cause it was a measure of see to see that that shingles I had was messenger see that crack Sturm a messenger see broken rib a messenger sleep in the back injury a messenger of sleep want to discourage me to buffet me must not be exalted above measure concerning this thing I pleaded 3 times that it might be taken from me and he said My grace is sufficient for you my strength is made perfect in weakness there for most go out of the will I boast of my affirmatives the power of Christ may rest upon me here Scripture says the apostle Paul says My grace is sufficient for the and I have to remember during that pain that God was going to get me through it that he was going to get me there now I'm not over yet frankly I sit I still experience this back pain but it's getting better and I know that God's grace is sufficient I love the way Ellen White puts it you know in a really outstanding reference. In ministry of healing page 248249 Ellen White says this those who surrender their own behaves to his guidance into his service will never be placed in a position for which he has not made provision wherever you find yourself today wherever you are in the journey of life whatever pain or suffering you may be going through. There is no place that you will ever be that God has not already made provision before you ever got there. Whatever our situation notice whatever our situation if we are do words of the word we have a guide to direct our way whatever perplexity we have are sure counselor whatever our sorrow or reason meant or only this we have a sympathizing friend to me that is incredible good news that what ever we are going through Jesus is there by our side we never have to bear anything that he has not already born in our behalf now there's a 4th thing about pain I think it is less than more than anything else pain slows you down it does pain causes you to think deeply about life and spirituality my life is one of business constant speaking appointments constant writing constant zoom conferences constant administrative details and one thing this pain does for me there were a period of weeks I could do anything I mean I was in such pain that I could not speak I mean I couldn't do public appearances that's one of the reasons and only what we've had such a long time before giving you another video like this because I was in such pain but what pain does is it slows you down and what it did for me was really reaffirmed the truth of Gene's chapter 4 and some 46 you know in James Chapter 4 the Bible puts it this way James the 4th Shakhtar. Hebrews James chapter 4 and I look there at verse. 17 and in the Bible puts it this way 1st 13 and I come now you who say Today or tomorrow we will go down to such and such a city and spend a year there by and still make a profit in other words come and you think you got your life all mapped out then he says whereas you do not know that will happen tomorrow i should we do know is that tomorrow is going to bike right ended up on my back and with a terrible injury where if you do not know what will happen tomorrow for what is your life its even a vapor that appears for a little time and vanishes away instead you want to say if the war wish we will live in do this or that now you both in your arrogance all such boasting is evil therefore the him that goes to do good and do that not does it not it's sin so here because what James is saying here is that our life is like a paper when I was lying on my back that's really what I began to think about how quick life is and longing to rebuke makes me turn to decisions that this year a certain amount to come much closer to Jesus you know in some 46 verse one it says God is our refuge and strength a very present help where where is the very present help in trouble then it says at the end some point 610 Be still and know that I am God and I said Ok in a life of Russia and Hungary and a life of tension or an anxiety in a life where I'm already do always doing doing doing I want to be still and know that I've got it I made a commitment that this year I would read through the 5 books of the conflict at the age of serious pale and white the great conversely 15 patriarchs in prophets. Profits in teens desire of ages acts of the Apostles and the great controversy each book is about $700.00 pages that's $3500.00 pages I have read already this year designers ages I've read prophets patriarchs and prophets and I'm now in prophets and kings I think within the 1st 7 months of the year of read those 5 books then I go back and restudy them again and again one thing that scene has done for me is it slowed me down maybe think more seriously about life and it's made me reflect more on the life so what are the lessons that we have in pain Lesson number one the mental health you think you are you're still feeble cherish your hell embrace your health preserve your hell Secondly we would we go through suffering recognize that God is going to comfort us so that we can comfort others and be imbued and also we can be more sensitive to the sufferings of Christ Thirdly we have nothing to bear that Christ is not already born and fourthly let your pain slow you down let your pain keep you from rushing through life without recognizing health feeble and how frail and how quick Life goes by there's a 5th aspect pain helps you and I booted to that point over for pain helps you. To focus on the things that are really eternal knowing that this life will soon pass away the Apostle Paul since this is in 2nd with the in chapter 4 again verse 16 to 18 and I think to me this is probably the most precious lesson that I have been warning and that is God is focusing my attention more and more on eternity he's focusing my attention more and more on this woman and he's placing within my heart a much greater longing for heaven than I've ever had before because I recognize the fragility of life 2nd Corinthians chapter for her 16 to 18 Paul says Therefore we do not lose heart in pain we do not lose heart in suffering we do not lose heart in sickness we do not lose heart in sorrow we do not lose heart therefore we do not lose heart sick with his $416.00 even though our outward man is perishing so my outward man has truly suffered with pain the outward man it's perishing yet the inward man is being renewed day by day for the light affliction mode ever we go through this life it's light affliction which is but for a moment is working for us a far more exceeding an eternal way to glory to pain works for us pain works for us a far more exceeding weight of glory Well we do not look at things that are seen but at the things which are not seen for the things which are seen a temperate of the things that are not seen are eternal we look beyond what he is to what will be we look beyond today to tomorrow we will be on time to eternity pain and suffering gives you that opportunity to long for heaven like the like the judge John says I saw the new Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven and I saw a new heavens the new worth. The New Jerusalem is a bride adorned for her husband the former things are passed away and there was no more sickness suffering pain heartache or death Jesus or let me call things new. Revelation chapter $21.00 Jesus says one day pain is going to be over one day sorrow is going to be over one day suffering is going to be over one day heartache is going to be over Fanny Crosby the blind him writer wrote a wonderful little poem called blessed blessed for ever and she says only a little while sowing and reaping only a little little while vigil keeping then we shall gather home no more to suffer class in eternal love blessed and blessed forever only a little while heartbreak and sorrow dark so the night may be cloudless the morrow only a little while earth ties to sever then the in our fatherland the last blessed forever only a little while shadow and sadness then in eternity sunshine and gladness only a little while that or the river home rest and Victor palm life enjoy forever if you are going through suffering if you're going through heartache if you're going through disappointment grass the reality that it's only going to be a little while and let this affliction that you're going through Draco sit in Jesus recognise that he's there by your side to strengthen you to encourage you to give you hope recognize that I'll never allow you to suffer me for more than you can a are able to let this be a time when you're flat on your back. To a cup to him and the grass the reality that one day soon he's going to come to take you home and they'll be no more sickness or suffering a heart ache or pain let's pray Father in heaven how we thank you that you don't abandon us and suffering you don't have Babs us in pain you don't abandon us and heartache that you are there by our side to give us hope and encouragement help us to rest in you to be secure in your love to be strengthened by your might though the outer man perish like the apostle Paul May our inner man be renewed day by day May this light affliction. Lead us to eternal glory in Jesus' name on this media was brought to you by audio person a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio version or you would like to listen to more sermon please visit w w w dot audio Verse dot org.

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