Week 18 - #Prepare - "Hurt"
"Before the Hurt"
Jeremiah 29:11 - “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
I Peter 4:12 & 13 - “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.”
Hebrews 12:1 & 2 - “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
In this precious life God has given us, we prepare for a lot of things. We prepare for school. We prepare for a career. We prepare for a marriage and a family. We prepare for anniversaries, birthdays, and graduations, but typically we do not prepare for loss, pain and life’s hurts.
For the most part, I am a glass half full guy, and I have the tendency to look for the silver lining even in the midst of darkness. My daily practice leans towards anticipating and acknowledging the many blessings this life has to offer and they are endless!
But scripture warns us we are also to be prepared and alert to acknowledge pain and sorrow in our journeys, thus not be “surprised at the fiery ordeal” that sometimes will come upon us along the way.
Who wants to face those things? No one! The good news is we have a God that goes before us and never forsakes us, even when facing hurt. No matter the hurt.
Since we are not all Boy Scouts and “always prepared” for every scenario when life’s hurts appear, we can be prepared by finding ourselves in God’s word DAILY. We can lean on His understanding, receive His hope, and know He goes before us.
It is that precious assurance that God stays with us, providing us the will as the author of Hebrews 12 encourages us all “to run with perseverance the race marked out for us,” while “fixing our eyes on Jesus.”
So the question is…
Will preparing for hurt by maintaining a relationship with Jesus daily remove us from any future pain or sorrow?
No, BUT He will give us His eyes to see our hurts differently whatever the circumstances and whatever the hurt.
And not only will He will provide His presence through it all, He will give us His own personal GPS too! As it is written in Jeremiah 29:11: "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
DADs, by securing the foundation of your faith, by first establishing your walk with Christ today, you are preparing for your worst days. This way you can more fully enjoy your very best days.
And when hurt does come, as singer/songwriter Benjamin Rector shares in his lyrics of his song “When a Heart Breaks”,
”This isn't easy This isn't clear And you don't need Jesus til' you're here Then confusion and the doubts you had up and walk away They walk away When a heart breaks”
There are no shortcuts in this preparation! We must not wait till hurt comes our way to look squarely to God. We must prepare today as we are exhorted in I Peter 4:12, to “rejoice in as much as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed.”
DADs, let us each be overjoyed! Even through our pain, our sorrow and hurts today, while sharing this preparation to your children along the way.
To God be the glory!
DADs“get in the game”…Today is game day…and so is every day…God gives you! So…C’mon Men Suit Up!
**Today we prepared for life’s “hurts.” Next week we will consider how we prepare to love others, and revealing Christ’s love for us**
Note:*For this new year of 2021, the combination of my age (understanding my own fragile mortality), this current and ongoing global pandemic, and most recently the personal loss I’ve experienced of one of my students, has amplified the need to land on one word... #Prepare.
In this "pursuit to prepare" I am determined to dedicate the 52 weeks of 2021 blogging every Week about one aspect of preparation God lays on my heart. This week 18 we talk about what it means to "prepare” for life's hurts.
As mentioned in week 1, the word “prepare” means “to establish, fix, or apply.” It conveys the idea of deliberate effort over a prolonged period of time.