One legacy that is often overlooked is how we deal with pain, both emotional and physical. What is the message that you have communicated to your children about how you handle the pain in your life? This can be one of the most powerful tools that God gives us to share our trust in God. It is certainly a challenge but the message is one of the most powerful ones you can share with children. It might take them time to understand it all but they will never forget how you dealt with the pain and someday they may see how much you love our Savior and begin to understand His love.
Alister Begg again proves his incite in this manner. Allow me to summarize his observations.
1 Peter 4:12-19
In Peter’s day suffering was very real. For some Christians, suffering may not be a reality. Actually, for most, pain is simply not that present and even though life may not be ideal, it is not what Peter would have called a daily endurance test. Jesus has said that those days of pain will most likely come. The point is that we may need to spend our time in prayer storing up the grace that will be needed to deal with the pain when it does come.
For others, it is exactly where you are now. The early Christians experienced persecution and death. The point is that all of us at some time will experience pain of some sort and the questions is, when you and I face it as a believer is there something about our lives which causes our neighbors, friends in the office, or school room to ask us the question, “how is it that you are able to respond to this experience in the way that you do? What is the basis of your perspective? How come you display such a positive attitude?”
There are four issues with pain:
- Painful trials are not abnormal. That is why God’s grace is necessary for each. The perspective in the pain is that God has a purpose in it. Pain and suffering for Jesus gives perspective in light of God’s purpose. Peter tells us to trust in Jesus…hard but necessary.
- How are we to react to the trials? First of all, we should not be surprised. We are to rejoice in the experience of sharing in the suffering of Jesus…a rejoicing spirit! It is by grace and the Spirit of God that this is possible. Second, we should not be ashamed in the experience of trials. Third, we should praise God during the trial. Fourth, by committing ourselves to our faithful creator. Fifth, We should continue to do good because God can work through us at all times.
- What should we expect our experience and trials to bring? Present blessing! The Spirit of God rests on you. That is where you get the strength…present blessing and future glory. Our joy comes from knowing the big picture.
- There is a suffering that you should seek to avoid: as a murderer or thief. Don’t get involved in suffering that gets involved in troubling the lives of others.
“Choose you this day who you will serve,” says Joshua. Ease now and dreadful judgment later? That is the reason that suffering is simply a part of our becoming like Jesus.
John Piper speaks to the rigors of the missionary life and I think the message is the same. “…those rigors are simply for their health. As these difficulties help them become more like Christ, they will sing a song of praise to God, and as result ‘many will see it and fear and put their trust in the Lord’ People who regard themselves as invalids rather than heroes will make excellent missionaries.”
John is saying to us that to suffer in any respect for Jesus is not being a hero for Jesus but simply enduring because Jesus allows this for our health in Him.
Daniel Fuller says it best, “The moment we turn from loving things in this world to bank our hope on God and His promises summed up in Jesus Christ, Jesus takes us, as it were, into His clinic to heal us of our hellish dispositions…We must trust ourselves to Christ as the Great Physician.”
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This is a book about transforming your family legacy – both today and in generations to come. It is for Christian families who want to eliminate estate and capital gains taxes, maintain their current lifestyle, pass on an appropriate inheritance to their heirs, maximize giving to worthy ministries, create healthier family relationships and leave a lasting legacy to impact God’s kingdom.
By Joe Sturniolo
Christian Family Legacy and Wealth Planning
Joe believes that stronger families are the vehicle God uses to bring about significant impact for His Kingdom.