Worth Thinking About...

No Pain, No Gain

MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTION -- If a health care professional (i.e., doctor, dentist, nurse, etc.) says, "This won't hurt a bit," you should: ANSWER A. Relax, it will be OK. B. Prepare for a shock to your nervous system. C. Ask for morphine immediately. I suspect most of us would likely choose "B" or "C" instead of "A." All of this came to mind during a recent visit to a local clinic for a "simple and minor surgical procedure." The words "simple and minor" were the doctor's not mine. If it's my body, it is always major. I must give the doctor credit he didn't lie to me with the "it won't hurt a bit" line. In fact he informed me it would hurt. To quote him..."I know pain, I inflict it everyday." Rather sadistic sounding words from a physician, but he was right! I am sorry to whine about my pain, for I know many of you are dealing with a lot worse than me. Pain, however, is a necessary ingredient in life.

It is necessary for us. It warns us when something is wrong and needs attention. The memory of a burn makes us more careful around fire, etc. Pain can also be used of God in the process of maturing us (cf. Rom. 5:3). There is another kind of pain and another kind of life that is also necessary.

While I was lying on the table waiting to be bandaged, experiencing waves of pain from the point of the doctor's assault upon my body, I began thinking about the pain endured by our Savior on the cross. He suffered from at least four major wounds not to mention the beaten back and crown of thorns. The position on the cross would make every breath and every movement an experience of unspeakable agony. He was crucified in public to add to his humiliation, bystanders jeered Him as he suffered. No one offered relief or kindness, He was left to hang until death came. Add to this pain, the weight of having the sins of humanity heaped upon Him (II Cor. 5:21). So why did He go through this when He new He could escape at any moment (cf. Matt. 26:53)? He did it as an act of love for us. "But He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities" (Isa. 53:5). In His death the price for sin was pain. Through His pain we have an eternal gain. This gain is eternal life with Him forever. This life is for the future, but also to be fully enjoyed now. It is true, one is not really prepared to live until one is prepared to die.

Our response should be obvious. We should respond in faith, believing in His work for us. This brings salvation. We should also offer our thanks continually for His unparalleled gift. This brings worship and honor to Him. Check the status of your heart in both of these areas now...and remember: His pain, our gain..

Jesse Waggoner
Pastor, Calvary Baptist Church

©1997 Calvary Baptist Church
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"My Movie Camera"
"Giant Rat-Eating Frogs"
"Ol Man River"
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