Where is God When it Hurts Part Three (Spiritual Pain)

 

(John 6:35  KJV)  And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

 

 

We have talked about how God is in three people; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We also know that we have been created in God’s image. In that, we are also triune; body, spirit and soul. Equally we experience pain in three areas; emotional pain, physical pain and spiritual pain. There is an expression in the Christian faith which talks about people’s “felt needs.” Our felt needs would be the needs like security and shelter, food and companionship… Above that we know that there are unfelt needs, which are just as real as our felt needs. These needs are more on the spiritual side where we have a need to belong, a need to have purpose, a need to be loved, a need to know where we are going after we die….. Where is God when it hurts? Not to go back to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs but remember how before he died he realized that self actualization was not enough.

 

Walking through the valley of the shadow of death, is no picnic. Depression is real and sorrow runs deep and strong. Sometimes it is hard to separate the emotional pain from the spiritual pain. That is like separating the spirit from the soul. Remember how the Bible declared that the Word of God is sharper then any two edge sword….:

 

(Hebrews 4:12KJV)  For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

 

So as we get into this discourse on spiritual pain, it will overlap and contain a lot of information that pertains to our emotions as well as our spiritual life, which in turn both effects our physical well being and actions.

 

 

Many of the brightest minds in this world knew the importance and great significance of our spiritual wellbeing.

 

Today the University of Florida devotes a center to Spiritual Wellbeing and explains its importance in this way.

 

“Spirituality deals with what we find eternal, beautiful, meaningful and just, and asks us to contemplate "what should be". Science and technology deal much more with "what is" and how best to predict and manipulate it. The interface between these powerful forces is of immense and immediate importance because their interaction is likely to strongly influence how the next generations shape the future of our world.”

 

I believe it was mother Theresa that said “You are changing the world every day.” Everything we do has eternal influences. Some might seem small and insignificant, yet it is often these “insignificant” actions that turn out to be the very things that change the course of our lives and history. Take for example chance meetings. I remember meeting a young woman who needed a ride one day…. It seemed like just the next day we were married, and now 15 years later our whole lives have changed.  It might not seem a big thing to some people as to what they believe, whether in Jesus or in Buddha or in Mohammed or in Hira Krishna, or in nothing at all,,, But it is in fact this decision your whole of eternity rests.

 

In these spiritual decisions rests your peace of mind. In these decisions rest your future direction in life. In these decisions rests your ethical standards. In these decisions often rests your dietary intake. In these decisions rests the company you keep. In these decisions rests your future, and your destiny.  So by deciding not to make a decision, you give yourself no real direction at all. and wonder why your soul is restless.

 

Oh you have moments of peace, but they are contingent upon circumstances. If you want true wholeness and direction and real love and lasting peace it can only be found in one place. Many people find comfort in their religion, but how long does that last?

 

I want to do a quick comparison between Christianity and Buddhism.  It has been said that spiritual beliefs can be the boat that safely sails you across life’s difficulties, but we should never use them to smash someone else’s boat. So I am not trying to smash anyone’s Buddhist boat, I am merely coming along side a boat I see filling with water and ready to sink and offering a safe journey in the boat that I found to be true and secure for the eternal journey.

 

First let’s quickly cover the main jist of Buddhism. Buddhism has what they call four noble thoughts, They all surround the idea of desire brings suffering, so by eliminating desire you eliminate suffering.  Here they are:

 

  1. Suffering- the truth is there is suffering in this world. Everyone will experience it. But suffering is desiring something that you do not have. If you are in pain then the suffering comes from you desiring not to be in pain. If you are poor then suffering comes from desiring not to be poor….. You get the idea.

     
  2. Causation- The act of changing things that you don’t like to become they way you like them. If something is causing you discomfort or suffering your first impulse it to do something to change it. This itself is the source of suffering.

     
  3. Cessation – Each individual can control their own desires. You have it within you to stop the suffering by stopping your desires.

     
  4. The Eight fold path- by following the eight fold path The eight fold path is a system of actions that you can take to eliminate all your desires thus eliminate suffering.


     

Now to talk about the Eight Fold Path or the Eight tenants of Buddhism. In these eight actions you develop a new way of living, creating new habits. In working towards this new way of living you work towards a higher plain of existence eliminating both pleasure and pain…..  Not to smash anyone’s boat already but I personally like pleasure… I could do without so much pain… but I really like the pleasure part of life>>

 

Here is the Eight Tenants of Buddhism

 

  1. Right Understanding: knowing that there is a difference between what is and what one desires to be is the beginning.

     
  2. Right Thought: wants and desires beging and are as a whole thoughts. Control your thoughts and you control your desires.

     
  3. Right Speech: talking spread your desires to others and reinforces them within yourself.

     
  4. Right Actions: Your actions should be only to refrain from harming others, and from trivial activities. One acts only to meet their basic needs or out of compassion to meet other’s  basic needs.

     
  5. Right Livelihood: Your career should be one that promotes peace and helps others.

     
  6. Right Effort: this is your motives. They should always be pure.

     
  7. Right Concentration: This is your ability to quickly get the wrong thoughts out of your mind… Meditation plays a big role here.

     
  8. Right Mindfulness: Once you can keep your mind off the wrong things you concentrate on bringing yourself into a state of mind with no pleasure or pain… A state of nothingness… where there is everything????

 

   I know that I have put my own spin on these tenants and I hope you can forgive me for that but the truth is and the question I want to ask you is where is there forgiveness in any of them? Where is there salvation? Where is there eternal life. Even In Buddhism they know that what we call the soul is eternal. They are trying to get out of an endless loop of pain and suffering through their own efforts.

 

OK, Now we will look at Christianity…… Granted this is my spin again on it…

 

In Christianity there are tenants that you must follow also….OK only one really but it is all important. In fact everything in this life and in all eternity rests on this one thing. And this one thing you have to put all of your hopes and all of your dreams and all of your heart into. It is the hardest, yet the simplest thing in the world.   

 

Here is how Jesus said it:

 

(John 6:47 KJV)  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.

 

That is it. One tenant if you will. I know, I know, It seems too simple. How can that bring eternal peace and joy and the abundant life and all that jolly rot? I’ll tell you how; because it is not by anything that you can ever do no matter how much you meditate, no matter how much you deny yourself, no matter how much you try, can you bring about the forgiveness of your sin. The sooner you admit that that you are a sinner in need of a savior the sooner you will discover that there is only one. Then, once you realize how much He paid to give you forgiveness, and not only forgiveness, but eternal life, not only eternal life but all spiritual blessings in the heavens, not only all spiritual blessing but we become joint heirs with Christ……. Eye has not seen nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the great thing that God has in store for you,,, ( 1 Corinthians 2:9) not just in the great by and by some day when we all get to heaven but right here and now in the land of the living… Joy unspeakable and full and glory….. (1 Peter 1:8)

 

Spiritual wellbeing is the foundation of our wholeness. The original Greek word salvation itself means “to be made whole.”

 

People diet and exercise and study to work their minds, but none of that amounts to a hill of beans because they won’t grow in the winter time…. We need to build our lives on the foundation of our spiritual wellbeing; knowing your purpose, knowing where you are going after you die, knowing your creator and His great love that he has for you. When you build your life upon the rock of Jesus Christ your life will withstand all the winds of change.

 

Seek thee first the kingdom of God…. Build your life upon the Rock….. Blessed be thee who hunger and thirst for righteousness…. Peace I leave with thee not as the world gives you…. Come unto me all ye who are weary and heavy laden…..

 

   

Give yourself a spiritual check up right now. Do you know that your sins are forgiven? Do you know that you have a home in heaven? How is your relationship with God? Are you at peace with yourself?

 

If you answered no to any of the above questions or are unsure of your salvation, or just need to get firmly plugged into God then today is the day that you get a fresh injection of the Holy Ghost. It all begins with the same verse we began with.

 

(John 6:35  KJV)  And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

 

Are you hungry for the bread of life? Are you thirsty for a fresh drink of the river of life?  Come to Jesus… Believe and be free!

 

What do you have to do to get in shape physically? You exercise! What do you have to do to strengthen your mind? You study! What do you do to ensure your spiritual well being? You believe…..

 

In his book “Evidence That Demands a Verdict” Josh McDowell States that “If God became man, then we would expect him to satisfy the spiritual hunger in man.”  Not only does Jesus answer this question of our spiritual hunger but if you have any questions about the validity of who Jesus is then I highly suggest you read this book. If you would like a copy of it please just ask me and I will be happy to make sure you get one. The most important thing in your life is your relationship with Jesus Christ. The most important thing to your wholeness is your spiritual wellbeing.  The most important decision you will ever make in your life is your accepting Jesus Christ as your LORD and Savior. For those of us who have accepted Jesus now is the time that we flexed our spiritual muscle and became aware of who we are in Christ. You are a child of the king. Flex your spiritual muscle and believe. Believe for the abundant life. Believe for your physical health. Believe for your relationships, Believe for your finances. Believe and be set free!!!!!