Live With Eternal Perspective Podcast Episode 035 Dark Pain
Welcome to the Terri Hitt – Live With Eternal Perspective Podcast
Episode #035 – Dark Pain
Thank you for entrusting and investing your precious time with me to grow in Jesus together. I am blessed to be back with you today to discuss more ways to live with eternal perspective.
Yum! I was eating a plum just a few moments ago and it was sweet, juicy, and flavorful! It’s very common to buy a batch of fruit at the store and not really get any pieces that are tasty. Then every so often you can pick up a batch that comes in at the right time and we know that God certainly created the fruit for our pleasure. This plum was perfection!
As I ate it, I was reminded of the verse from Psalm 34:8, “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!”
Living with eternal perspective draws us to find the Lord in all things. This lifestyle shift propels us to examine all we see and do with eyes and a heart that recognizes the majesty of God and His provisions in all areas. This mindset prepares us for eternity with Him and draws those we come into contact with to make that journey with us.
Christian relationship and growth must start with the basics of milk, just as a newborn baby drinks, but stretches us through adolescent years and carries us into maturity. Where are you on your journey? The number of years we have known the Lord doesn’t matter. It is the walk, the road we have and are traveling that counts. It is the living “in the trenches” with our faith, allowing and trusting God to supply and protect, to sustain and grow us and maturing in and through Him as He does so.
Life can be exquisitely beautiful. Or our lives can be incredibly painful.
After we’ve been hurt by the battles in this world, trusting that God is good can be extremely difficult. Where was He when the bad things happened? Is He really with me now? Can He really carry me? Des He truly care?
No one is immune to the destruction and evil this world can bring. Believers and non-believers experience hardships and tragedies. Some experience pure evilness. Yet, when we read about creation in Genesis, we see that God said what He made was good. After He added man and woman, God said that what He created was “very good.”
Even after the fall of creation, and sin was conceived in the world through disobedience, God remained faithful to His creation. He did not abandon us or wipe away what He had made.
God already knew what would happen before He created us. Some ask, “Why trust a God who allows such horrendous activities to happen?”
The Bible tells us that God did not create evil. But He does allow it.
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.” John 10:10a
This fact has caused some to doubt His existence or fail to trust God. Yet, from the very beginning of creation, He has set boundaries.
Adam and Eve chose to disobey. God gives His creation free will.
Although He sets guidelines for us, He never forces us to follow them. We each choose daily whether to sin or obey God’s commands.
Just as ripples in a pond affect the surrounding water, my sin affects others. Most often, those I cherish and would never desire to hurt.
What we need to remember is that while we feel that some acts of disobedience are more horrendous than others, God sees all sin the same. Consequences of trespasses affect us personally, just as our sin affects people we know and even some we don’t.
The sins we choose (or turn away from) today affects future generations. It touches the way we act and react, to those we love, molding our relationships.
2 Thessalonians 2:7 warns us, “For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.”
God allows us free choice, yet He still enables the Holy Spirit to restrain the full force of the evil that exists in this world.
Satan and evil are real. From the time sin entered the world, mankind and nature have felt the brutal effects of our disobedience.
Yet, God still loves us. He never wanted this choice for us.
In fact, He even made a way for us to be relieved from sin through Jesus.
Even His son was not immune to the evil in this world. Jesus warned us of what to beware of.
“These things I have spoken to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
When we have been deeply hurt by sin, especially in an act committed by another, our natural inclination can be to curl into ourselves. Or to lash out at others.
Sometimes we get angry at God or turn away from Him for not stopping the event.
While these can be considered natural reactions to the pain and suffering, none of the responses help us or resolve the deep emotional, physical, or mental wounds we endured or now carry.
But Only God can heal.
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3
God does keep His promises. We cannot always comprehend God’s ways, or what He allows.
Faith is not total understanding, but a complete confidence or a strong belief.
“Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.” Psalm 34:19
God never wanted sin to enter our world, but He knew it would. He uses it, without controlling our free will, to draw us nearer to Him, when we allow Him access to our pain through faith, trust, and hope in Him.
“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18
He also allows and equips us to minister to others through our experiences.
“Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” Jeremiah 33:3
God’s promises are certain.
He wants His people to believe and claim His promises.
He desires to be the Lord of our lives. But God waits for us to invite Him to be the center of everything we are and do.
Call upon Him, so He can respond. Allow Him to create beauty where there were ashes, as only He can.
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God. to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28
He will heal you.
“I have come that they may have life, and that may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10b
Open your heart and let Him. Pray for Him to do the same with others.
Today I want to continue reading where we left off on the podcast last week. I’ll share 1 John 3:1-24, which says, “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him. Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose, the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother. For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another, not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous.
Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death. Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
By this we know love because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him.
For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment. Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.”
As we examine the verses I just read from 1 John 3, we see that humans will always struggle with sin. So much of what we see in the culture of the United States, and actually, the world right now reflects empty hearts which do not follow the Lord.
Many sin in ignorance, because they do not know Jesus or God’s word. They will still be held accountable, but here I want to focus on those who intentionally and consciously violate what God says in His word and they live a lifestyle of sin that disregards or defies God’s will and commands. We are not concentrating on the struggle our human flesh has with sin, but on the practice of sin.
We are each very vulnerable to being led astray, even when we profess to know Jesus as our personal Savior, as we see so clearly at this moment in time. False teachers, organizations and corporations that appear to be for the good and are backed by values contrary to God’s commands, and leaders who stand for practices that God condemns, should alert us to the importance of our need to place God first on our personal list of daily priorities.
We must crave God and His word and know Him so well that we instantly recognize what is not in check with the Holy Spirit living inside of us. Do not be deceived! The devil does prowl among us, seeking whom he may devour. Satan twists and manipulates everything, using a small bit of truth to catch us in his snare. Once the evil net is upon us, we get pushed farther down with more deceit piling atop us.
When we embrace sin or lawlessness and look at others with hatred or distaste, placing only our own needs and desires first, every time we think we cannot disagree with someone and still be civil, or that someone who does not believe in the same way must be wrong and we treat with dishonor or distaste instead of compassion, or we chose not to extend grace to another because our feelings may be hurt, we limit our ability to allow God to shine through us and we place a wedge between ourselves and God.
Remember, We cannot serve ourselves and God.
Jesus did not agree with what was contrary to God’s word and teachings, but He did not react with hatred or violence. He was able to speak into the heart of the person and pinpoint their issue with heart and loving compassion. We obviously do not have the same gifts that God’s Son carries, but as we grow more and more like Him through learning His word and mindset, our ability to react should mirror His more and more.
I am appalled by the violence, hatred, and disrespect in our country. Especially when it is directed toward innocent people. I cannot help but mention the brave men and women in our country who place themselves in the line of danger every single time they go to work, and now, even in their off-duty hours. I stand behind our police officers and the sacrifices, they and their families make daily.
Just as not all teachers, coaches, priests, pastors, parents, and others are not evil, not all police officers are bad. Most of them make sacrifices we could never make. I am incredibly thankful for the officers I have met and I have been helped by their ability to do the job we expect them to without bias. May God bless and protect them and their families, as well as weed out the ones who are corrupt, just as I wish that for every other profession. As Jesus exemplified, love is sacrificial. Sometimes even unto death. Many of the officers I know are Christians who want to make a difference and willingly serve each day, knowing it could be their last.
As Christians, we must serve the Lord and continue growing and deepening our walk, maturing it so that we do not vote by a political party, but by the values and love that the Holy Spirit convicts us with. We should not look at the person, but the policies and practices they promote. Are they following what God calls us to support in His Holy word or are they dividing and pulling in the opposite direction?
When we, as a nation, are on our knees and in the word of God, I believe things will change. God answers prayer. Not always on our timetable, or in the ways we desire, but He always answers. As we grow the right relationship and deepen in moral character reflective of Him, we will begin to pray with hearts attuned to His and expectations that align more closely with what is good and pleasing to our Heavenly Father.
Only then will the dark pain that comes from sin and lawlessness evaporate and allow us to freely walk in grace and love with one another. Our children and the generations after us deserve to receive an inheritance of hope, love, faith, and grace. Then we will truly be living with a focus on eternal values and perspective.
We will all taste and see that the Lord is good. He and He alone fills us with the peace and joy, the hope and light we all desperately seek.
Father, God, I thank you for your Holy word to guide us and show us your heart and commands. Father, thank you for sending your son, fully God and fully man to live among us, showing the way to You and the way to live. God, we are so far away from where You desire us, from where You created us to be. I humbly beg you, please help us. Carry us back to You. We need to recognize our need for You, Please help us to do so and to admit our sin and surrender it to you. You have already paid the price. Help us to please You with the way we treat each other, what we stand for, and the way we live. We need You more than we know. Help us to find You. In the precious name of Jesus I pray. Amen.
Did you enjoy this episode? Would you like others to hear weekly encouragement and learn how to live with more eternal perspective? Can you think of a friend or family member who might enjoy encouragement? If so, please share this podcast with them and take time to leave a quick rating and review wherever you listen to this podcast. Until next week, keep looking Up and finding new ways to Live With Eternal Perspective.