Maybe I can share something...

Monday, March 13, 2006

No Pain, No Gain

All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.

Hebrews 12:11

Have you seen the advertisement of the young man with the washboard stomach, with glistening muscles rippling as he pumps his exercise machine-and its haunting reminder: "No pain, no gain"?

The same is true spiritually speaking isn't it? Of course we want the faith of Moses, but we'd rather avoid the 40-year visit to the wilderness where God made him strong in faith through humility.

We want David's heart for God, but we don't want blisters from shoveling smelly sheep manure. We want the glory of the spotlight, the prestige of the position, but we are reluctant to pay the price of preparation.

And who wouldn't want to have the spiritual impact of Paul? He shaped the first-century church. He journeyed to other countries, preached to massive crowds, entrusted his life to men like Timothy-we're talking gain, real gain.

But we're also talking pain-major league pain. Paul did time in prison. He was beaten near death "many times"-five times the Jews gave him 39 lashes. He was stoned and beaten with rods. He spent a night and a day in the sea. Often he was without food, water and clothing (see 2 Cor. 11:23-27). No discipline, no growth. No pain, no gain.

In spiritual terms, your stomach is the residence where courage resides. Courage makes tough decisions-hard choices. It is said of a courageous person, "He has guts." But our society is flabby at the waistline. We don't want to go against the flow; we want comfort.

Paul promised that God has the power to give us guts: to endure pain for spiritual gain. Paul wrote to Timothy, "God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline" (2 Tim. 1:7, NIV).

Do you really want the gain?

Excerpted from "Moments Together for Couples" by Dennis and Barbara Rainey.Used with permission. Copyright 1995 by Dennis and Barbara Rainey. Allrights reserved. To purchase the book, visit ->


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home