Order photos

Good news: A slap on the back…

by | Oct 25, 2018 | Opinion

In the Bible, we see a guy named Paul who hated Christians. That is, until he became one.

It’s a pretty interesting story if you’d like to check it out. This same Paul wrote a lot of stuff that we still have record of.

Since that time, much of his writings not only got people’s attention, they caused them to furrow their brow out of confusion and/or anger.

Okay just wondering, by chance did you just furrow your brow as you read that? Me too.

One of the things that my man Paul communicated which makes people furrow their brow and maybe turn their mouth sideways (I won’t even ask) is when he said, “I rejoice in my sufferings.”

What a thing to say? If someone said that to most of us, we’d probably think they were one taco short of a combination plate.

Why in the world would he rejoice in sufferings? If you’re like me, you realize this is an important question because, about 2000 years after Paul wrote this, most of us can relate very well to suffering.

Some of our suffering is big, some is small but we will all have to wrestle with suffering at different points in our lives.

Sure, maybe not as much as Paul. After all, he wrote this from prison and the stuff he dealt with was no less than astonishing.

Again, if you haven’t read his story, it’s pretty incredible. (Okay, for effect, read this next line slowly while looking up and off to the left and rubbing your chin) – But why “rejoice” in suffering?

Good question, I’m glad you asked.

Imagine that you are hanging out with a friend. And this is the type of friend that just likes messin’ with ya. Like, if you walk into their house, you walk in on guard because you know that they might jump out to scare you.

As you are walking, say to a monster truck rally, you feel the hardest slap to your back that you’ve ever felt. It is the type of slap you thought could only be made by someone with the strength and hand size of Shaquille O’Neal. You scream out – “HEEEEYYYYYY!”

Okay real quick – what do you feel (besides pain)? Angry? Frustrated? Confused? Like giving them a papercut and pouring a mixed cocktail of lemon juice, tabasco sauce and jalapeno juice on it? I get it.

But, now pause and let me ask you –  do you feel like rejoicing??? No, you don’t…neither would I. It wouldn’t make sense to.

But now, as you look at your friend and ponder their demise (again, looking up slowly to the left while rubbing your chin), imagine your friend points to the ground and says, “you had a black widow on your back.” Dig this – the pain is the exact same! Only now, there is a purpose behind the pain.

Do you realize that you would go from angry to thankful in the snap of a finger? Here is what I want you to hear. One big reason Paul could say that he rejoiced in his sufferings was because of the great purpose behind his pain.

Now, not for a second, will I minimize pain. Many have a greater pain beyond anything I could fathom. Additionally, I’m not saying that thankfulness will replace pain. What I am saying is that, through purpose, thankfulness can actually partner with your pain and everything changes when it does.

Let me close with this, there was someone that Paul followed…someone who I also seek to follow, I believe He can bring purpose behind your pain.

This person is Jesus and He actually knew quite a bit about having to walk through pain. In fact, two of the purposes behind His pain are you and me. I ask you – what if it’s true?

What if this Jesus could really bring purpose behind your pain? What if, somehow, He could bring about rejoicing in something you wish never happened?

Don’t you think that it might be worth looking into? I say go for it.

After all, haven’t you furrowed your brow, looked up and rubbed your chin long enough?

 

For more stories like this, see the Oct. 25 issue or subscribe online.

 

By Ray Miranda • Lead pastor of The STORY Church

NTXIF 2024

0 Comments

Related News

Pet ownership: A lifetime commitment

Pet ownership: A lifetime commitment

He was crossing the road. Over and over. I was surprised someone hadn’t hit him with their car. I was also surprised the coyotes hadn’t gotten him. It was 9 o’clock at night and according to the residents of the small strip of country road, he’d been out there for a...

read more
Hold, please

Hold, please

It appears that telephone landlines may be on their way out. CNN Business reported that recently, AT&T applied for a waiver in the state of California to stop servicing traditional landlines. Both AT&T and Verizon have both said they want to move away from...

read more
Dewey or don’t we?

Dewey or don’t we?

On Christmas Eve 2008, there were just three of us working in the office. Well, technically, there was one of us working, the other two were there. A couple of the young ladies on staff either didn’t have enough vacation time built up or they were saving it for...

read more
A range of options

A range of options

My great grandparents lived on a homestead. They cooked on a wood stove. Most of us today have no idea how good we’ve got it. For my great grandparents’ generation, remodeling the kitchen meant picking a different place to stack the wood. By John Moore For more on...

read more
A word from our sponsors

A word from our sponsors

Commercials used to be great. They used to be an art form. They used to be fun. Today’s advertising is boring in comparison. Television commercials were something to which I looked forward when I was a kid. Some were better developed and more interesting than the...

read more
On the road again

On the road again

We often hear someone say they just want to leave the world a better place than they found it. That’s a great goal, but rarely is it the case. Unless you were Charles Kuralt. For those of us who grew up during his time on the CBS News segment, On The...

read more
The Walking Dad

The Walking Dad

It's obvious that I have to wait to die until after everyone else in my home goes. Otherwise, every light in the house will be left on for all of eternity. My dad used to say that I could leave on all of the lights whenever I started paying the bills. By John Moore...

read more
Small town living: some leave, some come back

Small town living: some leave, some come back

You learn things when you grow up in a small town. Things you don’t learn if you grow up anywhere else. Things that are special. I was born in a small town. But I didn’t stay. I left for the same reasons other folks leave their hometown. Education, better jobs, and...

read more
There’s ‘snow’ ice cream quite like it!

There’s ‘snow’ ice cream quite like it!

It didn’t snow much in Ashdown, Arkansas in the 1960s. It doesn’t snow there much now. But when it did, and when it does, kids there know exactly what to do. Beg their moms to make snow ice cream. By John Moore For more on this story see the December 21, 2023 print,...

read more
Sears catalog was ‘our’ Amazon in the 1950s and 60s

Sears catalog was ‘our’ Amazon in the 1950s and 60s

As a young kid, I thought that every family did exactly the same things ours did. That included what and how we did Christmas. Turned out, there were two ways to approach collecting your loot. That is to say, seeing what Santa brought. One, which was more traditional,...

read more
Subscribe Love