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Pushing through the pain barrier

May 14, 2010

Philippians 3:12-14: I have not yet reached my goal, and I am not perfect. But Christ has taken hold of me. So I keep on running and struggling to take hold of the prize. My friends, I don’t feel I have already arrived. But I forget what is behind, and I struggle for what is ahead. I run toward the goal, so I can win the prize of being called to heaven. This is the prize God offers because of what Christ Jesus has done. (CEV)

The first thing I do while preparing to go deep into the Word is confess my sin.  I sit still, bring my sin to mind and give it over to Jesus. And in that moment I am washed clean!  And this morning as I began that process I found myself thinking about how it is often the same sin I am dealing with each day, all with the same theme: what I want, not what God wants of me.  So sin for me is often me chasing my desires, which often isn’t within God’s will for my life.  But really do I need to face the same issues every day?

Sometimes God turns me around on the spot, and in an instant I have a completely new perspective, and sometimes it is a gradual process, like sanding a rough piece of wood, God is slowly smoothing out the jagged edges.  The key is I am not giving up, not allowing myself to be overcome by my desires but daily working at personal reformation.

When I exercise I will often hit the wall, reach a point in my sit-ups, or when I am running where the pain increases and I just want to STOP! But I know what I am capable of, I know this is a temporary feeling so I push through the pain; and within a few moments I am into a rhythm again and able to keep going.  And I do this by breathing through the pain, sort of like my breathing pushes the pain away, but also I push through the wall by focusing on getting a smooth rhythm.

It is the same with my faith, when I am struggling I know not to stop but to keep going, to breath through the struggle is to seek after God’s powerful support.  The Hebrew and Greek words for the Holy Spirit is ruah and pneuma and can mean breath.  The Holy Spirit works through me like breath, breathing life into me.  So when I struggle I need to breath, I need to rely not on my strength but on the power of the Holy Spirit to breath healing into my pain, to guide me on the best path to overcome my struggle.

I also need to find a rhythm, to focus on daily coming before God to seek His will, to pray, to keep confessing sin, to explore His Word, to worship and praise His name.  Like when I exercise, this rhythm is absolutely essential, providing structure to the struggle, pushing away the chaos.

So I have not yet reached my goal, and I am not perfect. But Christ has taken hold of me. So I keep on running and struggling to take hold of the prize.

I keep running!!

God bless,

Mark

PS check out the song below.. absolutely awesome!

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Yahweh’s Yarn in a Year : 1 year Bible reading plan

The portions for the next few days are: Exodus 21-24; 2 Samual 10-14; Psalm 54 (I don’t post over the weekend!)

To access the complete plan for the year click here

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15 Comments
  1. Sister Pam OP permalink

    I hate sin, yet, I sin. Jesus forgive me and help me to forgive those who sin against me and you. Only with your help is this possible.

  2. lucy ng permalink

    To keep on going & struggling !!!Some churches preach that in suffering we are in solidarity with GOD , purifying ourselves & also for sinners.Others say that because you are a child of GOD one must not take on struggles!!If there is suffering it means that one is not yet a believer!!Because a true believer enjoys prosperity not otherwise!!!!
    Can anyone tell me What is the truth?????

    • Aaron permalink

      I feel that you have been taught the prosperity Gospel- when you become a Christian you will have no hardship, this is wrong.
      Going through struggles is part of the Christian life. If we had no suffering would there be any need to turn to God for help and guidance? I know what may help you here. Read through 1 Peter. It deals with how we can be brought through suffering and the strength and security we have in God. May the Lord speak and teach you the true way of the Christian life.

    • Sister Pam OP permalink

      Dear Lucy,
      Aaron makes very points. I will add a bit more.
      God does not desire suffering, but it is part of our fallen world. With God’s help we can use suffering for good. It is only with God’s help that I made it through difficult painful times in life. Paul does speak of contentment in all conditions. (2 Corinthians 12.10) “Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.” (Philippians 4.11) “Not that I am referring to being in need; for I have learned to be content with whatever I have.” This is not to say that suffering is good or desirable. The truth is that for many people, the easier their life, the more prosperous they are, the less spiritual they are and develop greed for more and more, never being content. I’m sure this does not answer your question fully, but I hope it is a start.

  3. Neil Price permalink

    Thank you for this word Mark…couldn’t come at a better time for me…We do struggle with sin at every point in our lives…Even as christians, we are not exempt…but God forgives us by His grace, once we come to Him humbly and confess…I love the Lord so much, it grieves me when I hurt Him…but I know He is merciful and loving…Praise God!!

  4. Jenna permalink

    This past week has been one of the hardest weeks for me. The emotional stress took a physical toll on me. The entire week, i never stopped praying. Always praise Jesus for good days and bad days. I try to welcome bad days, because even though its hard to go thru it, once it has passed, i can look back and see all the lessons i have learned. and i can praise God even more! It’s another time that He gave me strength to work thru the struggle. In my opinion, struggling helps you learn and grow closer to God. So i try to welcome every struggle. This is hard, I know. Another point of view is to never forget (or put on the back burner) what Jesus Christ did for us on the cross. The way that He suffered FOR US is absolutely amazing. So if I have to go through a week or 2 of extreme emotional distress, then i am proud to share in the suffering with Jesus Christ. Jesus died on the cross so we could be saved from our sin, not so that we could live a life without any hardship.

  5. So-shu Lopez permalink

    I am struggling because of my relationship with my husband which is bad 75 percent of the time. Today I began to give into the panic but this teaching of perseverance and pushing through the pain has been coming into my life for almost 2 weeks now. God told me this morning that I needed to pray dilligently for my husband because he does not know and is suffering alone whereas I am suffering in the arms of my Savior. The panic has subsided as I lift my husband in prayer, not focusing on what he is doing to me but on what is happening in his heart.

  6. sara beecroft permalink

    the song is wonderful thankyou 4 shareing it with me

  7. Life is for the Living and living is a struggle.Jesus says if you never have any pain,how will you know what I suffered for you ? I thank God each day for my Life and push thru the Pain knowing my greatest pain is NOTHING to what He suffered for me Thank you Jesus

  8. Mark,

    I join you in the race of LIFE…and for the prize which Christ has for each one of us heavenwards. No matter what…I live on until that day!

    Let us keep running!

    Blessings,

    Gladwell

  9. Dutch Hofstetter permalink

    Amazing passage, Mark! God Bless you! This connects me to when the Lord Jesus Christ said to get on the plow and not look back, and just keep pressing on in the Lord! The Lord is strong and He never fails so keep leaning on Him and you will be held!

  10. Mark I really thank God and the Holy Spirit Who inspires you. From today’s journey I have seen it clearer again which reminds me of the words of our Lord Jesus: in the world we have many tribulations, but we should be of good share…. Also Paul on his on side said: that which I do not want to do I find myself doing…. So as long as we still put on this flesh, still in this world suffering is inevitable to all who belives; but for sin thank God for His Grace made available for us in Christ Jesus.

  11. Joanne Heatley permalink

    Thanx Mark!

    I thank and praise God for your good, clear, sound teaching.
    I thank You Father for the gift of Your dear son Jesus and for You dear Yeshua, my helper, my cousellor, my guide, my comforter, my all, my everything.
    amen x

  12. Lydia Reyes permalink

    Isaiah43;1-2 Fear not for I have redeemed you. I have called you by name,you are mine. When you pass through the waters I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not over whelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned and the flames shall not consume you. The lord is telling us that no matterwhat we go through, He will see us through. No matter what the situation the Lord is in control and he provides a way out and people to help us get us through. As we go through difficulties and trials, we can count on the Lord’s protection, provision, power, presence, peace and purpose.

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