Pastor Shane Ham : Rethinking Pain

Back to Normal · 38:47 · Recorded June 7, 2020

Rethinking Pain

1 Peter 4:12 (NIV) Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.

John 9:1-12 (NIV) As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" "Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world." Having said this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. "Go," he told him, "wash in the Pool of Siloam" (this word means Sent). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing. His neighbors and those who had formerly seen him begging asked, "Isn’t this the same man who used to sit and beg?" Some claimed that he was. Others said, "No, he only looks like him." But he himself insisted, "I am the man." "How then were your eyes opened?" they demanded. He replied, "The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see." "Where is this man?" they asked him. "I don’t know," he said.

Two common views:

It must be my fault; way of guilt.

It’s definitely your fault; way of anger.

Jesus’ view:

God is sovereign; way of glory.

Good reminder: Suffering may be the result of sin in general but may not be the result of sin in particular. See Genesis 3.

Turning pain into glory:

1. God will use it to build you.

James 1:2-4 (Phillips NT) When all kinds of trials and temptations crowd into your lives my brothers, don’t resent them as intruders, but welcome them as friends! Realize that they come to test your faith and to produce in you the quality of endurance. But let the process go on until that endurance is fully developed, and you will find you have become men of mature character with the right sort of independence.

2. God will use it to yield you.

Proverbs 20:30 (ESV) Blows that wound cleanse away evil; strokes make clean the innermost parts.

Luke 15:13-19 (GW) “…There he wasted everything he had on a wild lifestyle. He had nothing left when a severe famine spread throughout that country. He had nothing to live on. …was sent to feed pigs in the fields. No one in the country would give him any food, and he was so hungry that he would have eaten what the pigs were eating. “Finally, he came to his senses. He said …I’ll go at once to my father, and I’ll say to him, “Father, I’ve sinned against heaven and you. I don’t deserve to be called your son anymore. Make me one of your hired men.”’

3. God will use it to lead you.

Psalm 119:71-72 (GW) It was good that I had to suffer in order to learn your laws. The teachings {that come} from your mouth are worth more to me than thousands in gold or silver.

4. God will use it to seed you.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NIV) Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (GW) That is why we are not discouraged. Though outwardly we are wearing out, inwardly we are renewed day by day. Our suffering is light and temporary and is producing for us an eternal glory that is greater than anything we can imagine. We don’t look for things that can be seen but for things that can’t be seen. Things that can be seen are only temporary. But things that can’t be seen last forever.

  • Reread 1 Peter 4:12. This verse was key in the message. When have you been surprised by a painful trial? When did one happen that was not surprising? Was there a difference in how you handled the two situations? Have you come to a place of better acceptance of trials as a part of reality? What has helped you do that?

  • Before hearing Shane’s message, which of the ‘two common views’ did you lean more toward? Share an example of when that happened in your life or the life of someone close to you.

  • What do you think of the statement, “Suffering may be the result of sin in general but may not be the result of sin in particular.”? How do you explain that to someone? What are some examples you might use?

  • In James 1:2-4, Shane focused in on a particular word – realize. James says trials come to test our faith and produce endurance. Do you feel those are valid reasons to welcome the trials in your life? To even ‘consider them joy’? What do you have to push back against to view trials in this way?

  • In point #3, what did you think when Shane said that God uses trials or crises in our life to get us where we need to be? He talked about pain as a teaching tool – have you experienced that? Used that method to help your child or friend to understand? He pairs that thought with point #4. You’ve heard before that God never wastes a hurt – how has he used pain in your life to encourage or help someone else?

  • Parents – Check out the information on our kid’s page at northpointe.org/kids where you’ll find info on Sunday services and family resources to help you as you navigate this current season.

  • Highlands

  • Even When It Hurts

  • Graves Into Gardens

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