Wednesday, August 12, 2015
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My son had more bruises on his body than I've ever seen. He was playing freshman football, and he paid a price. I mean, the coaches ran him until he almost dropped. They ran the guys through all kinds of exercises-hitting, tackling, and sweating. And some guys actually quit because it was just too much. But finally, the games began, and they were winning. And after one of the games they had a great celebration coming back on the bus. They weren't thinking very much about their bruises, because they had just had a 20-0 shut out and they were keeping their winning streak in tact. And that afternoon, my son weighed the pain he's experienced against that pleasure. Now, what he concluded may help you weigh yours.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about 'The Pain Pays Off.'
Now, our word for today from the Word of God is about the pain paying off, and it's in Romans 8:17-18. We know that this was written by Paul, and this is a man who had a lot of bruises. Not from football, but the bruises he suffered in his life from taking his stand for Christ. And here's what he says, 'Now if we are children, then we are heirs-heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory, I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.' So Paul says, 'When you compare the pain with the pleasure; when you compare the sacrifices with the rewards, there's no comparison.'
As my son was reflecting on all the bruises and all the times he had been knocked around, and the sweating and the hurting in practice, and then how it felt to win, he said to me, 'Dad, the feeling of victory is worth all those hours of practice. Now, you don't think so,' he told me, 'when you're slugging it out in practice, but it's worth it.' Paul said, 'We are going to have an ultimate victory.' My son said, 'Dad, the only problem is the victory feeling doesn't last too long. You've got to go back to the painful stuff.'
What Paul was talking about here is reward that does last. My son was saying that 15 hours of practice and sweat...it's worth it for a few hours of joy. Paul said any hurt we have here is going to be like minutes compared to the forever celebration of victory; even the victory in this life-a sense of having overcome, of having gone through this with Jesus, of knowing Him better than I've ever known Him before. Having tasted His power as I never would have tasted but for the hard times.
Maybe you're in practice right now and you don't feel very victorious. You're pressured. You're trying to do what's right, and it doesn't seem to be working. Maybe God has trusted you with the assignment to show His joy in the midst of physical suffering, because that's when everybody's watching you to see if what you've got is real. Maybe you're paying a price for your stand for Christ, and it's tempting to compromise, to back off, or to give in to despair, or just to give up.
God will always remember your faithfulness, and He will reward it a hundred times over. If you make your decisions based on what's comfortable, like those guys who quit football practice, you will never know the thrill of victory. I love the hymn that says, 'It will be worth it all when we see Jesus. One glimpse of His dear face all sorrow will erase. It will be worth it all when we see Him.'
This enabled Paul to have a different perspective on his hurts. He said in this same chapter, 'We are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.' The victory will be so glorious that I am willing to take my hits in practice. Don't quit now! The practice is just a little while; the party is forever.