Friday, August 3, 2012

Perspective in Pain

What is My Perspective in Pain?
Psalm 55:4a ~ My heart is sore pained within me: 
Psalms 55:22 ~ Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.
David is pouring out his heart to the Lord and lamenting the pain he felt in the betrayal of a friend. This friend was either Absalom, his own dear son and/or Ahithophel, a former close friend. For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it: neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him:  But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company (Psalm 55:12-14). Though David is in deep despair, he communicates ultimate confidence in his God and expresses that confidence by saying, cast thy burden upon the LORD, and He shall sustain thee. The word for “burden” implies one’s circumstances or lot in life. David’s words convey what his heart was experiencing, that the Lord would uphold him in all the struggles of life including great loss through betrayal.
The Story Behind the Pain: I Samuel 13- 18
King David’s son, Absalom, was overwhelmed by the pain and sorrow his half-brother, Amnon caused when he took advantage of his sister, Tamar. In Absalom’s bitterness and grief, he plotted to kill Amnon and by taking matters into his own hands, he rebelled against God’s purpose in this trail. The adversity Absalom encountered was in essence situations God allowed to benefit Absalom but he refused to embrace obedience in the midst of his great pain. The sinful actions of Absalom continued to escalate into greater realms of retaliation, rebellion and revolt against his father, King David––ultimately leading to his untimely death.
Though Ahithophel and Absalom appeared to have the upper hand in making David’s life hard––don’t kid yourself into thinking that God is not around when the going gets tough. God is in control of every circumstance––good or bad? There are two sides to every situation––a dark side  and a bright side! Things looked difficult for David, but in his pain he learned to have a deeper trust in God. Circumstances that are filled with pain and sorrow should not drive us from God but to Him and His Word. Seeking out Scriptures to relate to our adversities will not only profit us but we will gain insight into the Scriptures while trusting Him to work out in our lives that which we need to learn. 
Not only should we profit from our adversities but we should remember them and the lessons  taught through them. God wants us to do more than simply endure our heartaches and trials or just find comfort in them. He wants us to remember them so to bring about growth in our lives. The most valuable way we profit from adversity is in the deepening of our relationship with God. Through adversity we learn to bow before Him, to trust His ways, and to experience the comfort of His love. We begin to pass from knowing about God to knowing Him in a more personal and intimate way. What do you do when you are facing problems? David committed the matter totally to God and used his circumstances as a springboard for richer fellowship with God. That may not always be easy to do, but the benefits are eternal! 
Thoughts:  That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; (Philippians 3:10). Can we say with Paul, “I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, so that I may become like Him in death”? This should be the heart cry of every believer to express the deepest desire in knowing Christ in an ever-increasing intimate and personal way. What is my perspective in pain? Trust the heart of God, He knows what is best for me.

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