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This Christian Journey:

 

No Pain, No Gain

Ecclesiastes 7:2-3 2 It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart. 3 Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.

In times of trial and tribulation the last thing one thinks they want to hear is that the sting of your wounds are a good thing.  There is an old saying that I had ground into me in Marine Corps boat camp that has stuck with me over the years.  The first time I heard it the phrase seemed odd, but in my life I have come to realize the deep truth contained in the phrase, and heralded in the text we have just read.  This phrase is, “No Pain, No Gain.” 

As I consider the message of our text I am reminded that spiritual growth is almost always experienced in midst of turbulent struggles.  It is when we are walking in the shadow of the valley of death that our Heavenly Father challenges us the most.  When sorrows come into our lives we must reckon that God has something dynamic He wants to work into our lives. 

Of course, when the storms of life loom on our horizon our first instinct is the head for cover, and if cover is available that is clearly the wise thing to do.  However, if our Lord has removed the safety of a harbor from us, and it is apparent that we are going to have to go through the storm, rather than around it, then we must determine with James to “. . . let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” (James 1.4)  There is a strength developed within the storm that can never be learned with out its terror.  No matter what, when the storm passes by your “. . . heart is made better.” 

Hence, the advice of Solomon rings clear.  Put on your spiritual life jacket, batten down the hatches, and secure your life line; for it is through this storm that our Heavenly Father has chosen to mold you.  Set your eye on the prize of His spiritual purification and rejoice that you have been found worthy to join Him in this journey.

CrossRoads Email 28 Aug 2007

 



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