My farm girl wife has a high tolerance for pain. "I know," you say, "she's married to you." I mean physical pain. She seldom complains and I often don't know how she's hurting. But she has had almost constant pain for the last eight years and it would flare up in different parts of her body, sometimes becoming almost paralyzing and unbearable. A lot of remedies and treatments took their turn trying to help her get better nothing worked; the flare-ups continued. Until recently. She is so thankful, she says with this big smile, "I am pain-free for the first time in eight years." What happened? Our family doctor went to work in diagnosing the problem and he concluded it was something called fibromyalgia. And once our doctor diagnosed what the real problem was, we could start working on some real relief!
Well, I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "No Diagnosis, No Relief."
It may be that you've been experiencing some painful symptoms in your life recently. I'm talking emotionally, not physically. There have been too many blowups, too many dark times, too much loneliness, more and more stress, less and less peace. Maybe there has been a lot of pain because of a divorce or struggles with a child, or a parent. Like my wife with her physical pain, you're experiencing some painful, disturbing symptoms. And so far, no treatment, no pain reliever has really taken away the pain.
It's time to bring in the Specialist, the One who can get beyond the symptoms and give you the diagnosis of the underlying problem. That would be your Creator. Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Romans 3 where God talks about some ugly symptoms. People, it says whose "tongues practice deceit," whose "mouths are full of cursing and bitterness," it says "their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways." There's this dark side of us that lies and hurts and basically is out of control. Here's a phrase that might sum up a lot of your life, "And the way of peace they do not know."
Then comes the diagnosis of what's behind so much of the pain of our lives. "There is no one righteous, not even one...all have turned away...there is no fear of God before their eyes." And then, the sobering bottom line, Romans 3:23 - "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." You're in there, I'm in there, we're "all" in there. Our symptom might be loneliness or depression or guilt or darkness inside, but the disease is this cancer called sin. We have done our life our way instead of God's way and we're cut off from the "glory" of His love, His help, His peace. Just like my wife with her years of physical pain, your symptoms won't start clearing up until you treat the disease that's causing them.
But God doesn't just diagnose the disease, He provides the cure. In verse 24: "We are justified (made right with God) freely by God's grace through the redemption (the rescue!) that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Jesus as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in His blood." In plain language, we had no hope of our sin-cancer being cured, but God, the One we have sinned against, sacrificed His one and only Son to pay the death penalty for our sin. The cure involves blood - the blood Jesus poured out when He died to remove the guilt and hell of your sin.
That blood-bought cure becomes your cure when put all your trust in Jesus to forgive every sin you've ever done. He's ready to being that healing right now if you're ready to begin a trust relationship with Him as your personal Savior. You can tell Him that right now that you want it. To give you real life on earth and eternal life when you die.
After all this pain, God has diagnosed the disease that has caused so much of it. And He has paid the ultimate price for you to be spiritually healed. Now He stands ready to do for you what only He can if you ask Him to.