James Jones, a counselor and teacher, said it more than I wanted to hear: “Our hope is in our pain.” My internal response was, “Bologna.” I didn’t like it. I didn’t want to believe it. I dreamed of a day when my work and life would be easy, comfortable.
He kept saying it. I kept listening. Where did he get that idea?
And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us (NKJV).
It’s my observation many would-be shepherds return to deacon-work because of the pain of being a true shepherd — 7 Ways to Deal with the Pain of Being a Shepherd
Jesus told His disciples the path to following Him involved carrying a cross (Luke 9:23, 24). His example was one of suffering.
For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps” (1 Peter 2:21).
But pain hurts. It gets old. I get exhausted. I want to get comfortable again.
How was Jesus, our Leader, our Good Shepherd, able to deal with the excruciating pain He endured in carrying and hanging on His cross?
1. Jesus anticipated His pain. He knew the plan for Him. He repeated it over and over again to prepare His apostles for coming danger and disappointment.
From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day (Matthew 16.:21).
When I know pain is coming, I don’t feel weird. It’s expected. It’s normal. Often I’ve visited people in the hospital and asked how they were feeling. After a groan or two, they answered, “I’ve had a pretty rough day. But it’s the third day after surgery and they say that’s the worst day.” They are hurting, but not in despair. They understand pain is expected and relief will be coming.
[tweetthis]Peter encouraged Christians by assuring them what was happening, though painful, was normal.[/tweetthis]
Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy (1 Peter 4:12, 13).
2. Jesus chose His pain. Jesus made it clear. He was not forced to suffer and die. He decided to do it because it was the will of His Father.
“Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father” (John 10:17, 18).
3. Jesus managed His pain. His preference was not to go the way of pain. He prayed three times to remove the cup (Matthew 26:39-44). Jesus did not enjoy pain. He endured pain (Hebrews 12:1, 2
When He learned there was no other way, He chose obedience rather than comfort (Matthew 26:53, 54).
[tweetthis]A shepherd, a Christian will endure the pain of carrying his cross for the joy that comes from following Jesus.[/tweetthis]
The pain of service brings hope when it is
How do you manage your pain in serving the Lord?
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