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Never Give Up in Pain!

(This week’s article is dedicated to my eldest son "Joy". On June 10th, 2011, he turned 7 years old. We had the privilege of celebrating his birthday in HOPE’s orphanage at Secunderabad. Anyone who is willing to be a blessing to orphans, I heartily recommend to support HOPE where children are properly nurtured with God’s love. Pradeep leads this orphanage and I testify that he is a man of integrity and the resources are rightly used for the welfare of children. You may write to: pradeepmanchala@yahoo.com)

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These days I am teaching my son to type on the computer system without looking at the keyboard. He has to position his little fingers on the keyboard and slowly learn to type without seeing. Believe me, it is painful and so tedious, especially for a kid of 7 years.

Initially, he was reluctant to learn, but I motivated him to do so without giving up on him. His face was downcast and with great difficulty he began to learn and move his fingers. He started to type letter after letter and pages after pages.

Few days later, as he made some improvement, I began to speak to him some simple words and have him type without looking at the keyboard. My wife and I were present to see his work. To our amazement, he typed flawlessly every word without seeing. You can see that sense of excitement as he typed. After he passed his first test, he was overwhelmed with joy for his accomplishment.

After having him enjoy his achievement, I called him near, looked at his eyes and said, “It was so painful for you to begin and learn but do you now see how exciting it is to see the fruit of your labor (pain)!”

Having said those words, my thoughts went around God’s discipline in our life. Is it not written, “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it” (Heb. 12:11)?

• Are you discouraged in your tough times?
• Are you disappointed in your battle with sin and temptations?
• Are you troubled by looking at the situations around you?
• Do you find it painful to live a life of obedience in this sinful world?
• Are you sick of trials in your life?
• Do you feel like giving up your faith?

James reminds us, “You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy” (Jas. 5:11). Note those words, “What the Lord finally brought about.” Let’s be patient in times of affliction and wait till the end—to see what the Lord would finally bring about. It is unwise to conclude anything in the process. One great fruit the Lord produces in our life through trials is this – “You know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (Jas. 1:3-4).

Just think—if our Lord Jesus, while on earth, learned obedience from what he suffered (Heb. 5:8), how can we choose a comfortable path in order to become obedient and mature? Remember, even Christ came to the point of utmost stress and uttered, “"Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me” (Lu. 22:42a). There wouldn’t have been hope to mankind if there was no “yet” thereafter. He said, “YET not my will, but yours be done” (22:42b). You know, the fruit of Christ’s suffering brought great salvation to those who would believe in Him.

Paul too understood the ultimate result of suffering and wrote, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us” (Rom. 8:18). Because of this hope, Paul didn’t give up in pain and said at the end, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (1Tim. 4:7). How encouraging—the present pain is not even worthy of comparison with the glory we are about to receive! If one can understand this, no suffering can make a person give up his faith.

Cheer up, my friend, for it is written, “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast” (1 Pet. 5:10). Make note of those words - our suffering on this earth is only for a little while. Therefore, may we fight the good fight of faith and finish the race. Let us live such a life by God’s efficient grace that when we get to our eternal home, may we be blessed to hear these revitalizing words from our Lord, “Good and faithful servant. Come and share your master's happiness!”

"No Pain, No Gain. No Cross, No Crown. No Gall, No Glory."
-- William Penn

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