TODAY’S PROPHETIC WORD
Though you may have pain in your valleys, there is sunshine on the mountain. Jesus has said that He will be with you even to the end of your rope. Jesus will ease the hurt; walk in His faithfulness.
WHEN THE WALK BECOMES PAINFUL
For many years, I was pushing 400 pounds. Not quite there, but still, it was closing in.
Then, on a trip to Jerusalem with Leanna, we met a couple who pastored a church in Enid, Oklahoma. These people, it turned out, were not your ordinary pastors. He was a doctor and a college professor, and they were both gifted in the area of physical training in a way that glorifies God.
After returning home, this couple came to visit us in Texas to give us a personal fitness program we could literally run with. I needed to get in shape. Though round is a shape, I knew serving God, especially in the mission field, would be easier if I were a little less shapely.
As they finished mapping out my fitness program, I remember their words: “Troy, your body is going to rebel. You have to learn to overcome your pain.”
The next morning, I walked my first mile. My ankles were throbbing and my knees were killing me. Though it was exactly what I needed, it was painful.
Then it became clear. While my flesh was rebelling, to my spirit, it was familiar ground. I couldn’t help but snicker a little as I began to limp because my walk with God was already like that. King Jesus really knows how to paint a picture. It was so obvious. He was reminding me that sometimes, the walk gets painful.
Jesus himself walked in ultimate victory daily, but that doesn’t mean it was painless. The next time you start thinking that your walk with God is supposed to be pain-free, consider these verses concerning the life and times of our Lord…
…And He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.” – Matthew 26:37-38
Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head.” – Luke 9:52
…He groans in the spirit and was troubled. And He said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to Him, Lord, come and see.” Jesus wept. Then the Jews said, “See how He loved him!” And some of them said, “Could not this Man, who opened the eyes of the blind, also have kept this man from dying?” – John 11:33-37
Did Jesus walk in victory? YES! Did Jesus walk free of pain? NO! Remember, these verses were of His everyday life – not His crucifixion. The big question here is, who told you your life would be pain-free when you decided to follow Christ? Jesus sure didn’t.
He experienced every aspect of life on earth — loneliness, betrayal, fear, sorrow, hunger, thirst, sickness, exhaustion – He knows how you feel. He’s been there. We don’t have a God who is only capable of sympathy. Jesus can empathize, which explains His deep compassion for us in our suffering.
He also assured us that “in this world you will have trouble.” He did, and if we’re following Him, we will too. Not following Him is even more painful.
“…He was troubled in spirit, and testified and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me.” – John 13:21
TODAY IS A GOOD DAY TO CHOOSE TO TRULY FOLLOW JESUS WITH A FULL HEART. YES, THERE WILL BE PAINFUL TIMES, BUT THE REWARDS ARE HEAVENLY!
From my book: Soul Invasion