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At my local church’s noon day bible study, we are watching the “Easter Experience.” Episode 3 reminded of just how much Jesus endured—the beating, mocking and humiliation—that qualifies Him to know the depth of my pain. He knows about…
- Emotional pain. He experienced grief, anger and agony. He knows how it hurts to be mocked, ridiculed, falsely accused.
- Relational pain. He experienced rejection and betrayal. Those he had walked with for three or more years deserted Him in the hour they should have stood in support of Him. After all, they were eye-witnesses to His compassion and care for them and the multitudes He ministered to. Yet, they denied their relationship to Him and ran away leaving Him alone.
- Physical pain. He experienced physical pain. Can you imagine being beaten as if tenderizing meat before cooking it? Or the blood that streamed and splattered after each pulverizing blow? Can you image the severe pain when a crown of thorns was placed on His head?
It was a flinching reaction for me just watching the Roman soldiers, who were experts at beating a man. But this was not just any man; this Man was innocent! He had committed no sin or did no wrong. This was Jesus, the Beloved Son of God, being beaten. His body was being crushed so that we can be healed and whole! His blood was shed so that we could be forgiven and cleansed from sin. It was an emotional moment as I watched the blood splatter and the soldiers gasping for breath because they were exhausted from beating this innocent Man unmercifully.
Then, my perspective changed when I remembered Isaiah 53:
He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He opened not His mouth;
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.
Then my perspective changed when realized it should have been me. This realization birthed in me eternal gratitude, which will always be expressed in my prayer: “Thank You, Lord for suffering in my place!” I am so grateful that we don’t have a High Priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So in prayer I will always walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.
I don’t want you to be ignorant concerning how God, in His sovereignty, chooses to answer some prayers. Sometimes misunderstanding God’s ways of doing things versus our way, or our assumptions about how He should do things causes us to question His unconditional love for us. Sadly, many fall away and stop trusting Him altogether. What am I talking about? Let me explain briefly…
Until recently, I’d never concluded that some prayers that God answers will bring discomfort and emotional pain for a little while. I say a little while because in answering that prayer He already knew the impact it would have on you and all those involved. Thankfully, because of His grace and mercy He has covered every aspect of the matter, and perfected everything that concerns you regarding the petition you made to Him. He is able to do this because He is God…He is the Sovereign Creator!
Remember the Lord Jesus Christ has all authority over heaven and earth (Matthew 28:18). And once you exercise your power of choice by making a prayer request you give Him permission to intervene in your affairs as the Sovereign Lord. Mind you, He is all-knowing; nothing catches Him by surprise. So every detail is already handled; even the areas or things you may not have considered, or been aware of that would impact your decision to pray. I know. It’s kinda hard to comprehend it all. That’s why faith in Him is key! And it is your faith in Him that compels you to pray. Right?
Dear believers, what you must also remember is that God’s love for you is greater, deeper, wider and higher than you can really comprehend logically. Therefore, the temporary discomfort or pain you experience will be succumbed by the comfort and peace that He gives in return to wipe away your tears, calm your fears, and bring you closer to Him in relationship.
So the next time you pray and He answers, but you experience temporary emotional pain and discomfort, continue to trust Him to make all things work together for good because of your love for Him and HIS purpose for calling you (Romans 8:28).
Learn to say like the Shunammite woman in 2 Kings 4:23-27 said, “It is well!” This was after her prophetic word (in the person of her promised seed (son) died on her lap. Although the pain seemed unbearable, the word that she spoke into the atmosphere sustained her through the process—from death to resurrection.
You too can say, “It is well” although the answer to your prayer may or may be manifested, you might have to suffer some pain and discomfort. Just know in the end faith says, God can and will make it all good! Keep believing, keep praying! Keep trusting Him! He’s got you! Do you believe it?