Romans 8:18 (KJV) “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”
Few people look forward to being in the state of pain. There are those who present a mental illness that prompts them to relish inflicting or experiencing pain. Sadomasochism is the term used for the school of thought concerning this form of mental illness. Sadists enjoy inflicting pain, and masochists enjoy experiencing pain. I reference this thought because most mankind desire neither to inflict nor receive pain!
When God created mankind, He desires for us to live in peace and wholeness. He wanted His will and kingdom to be made manifest on earth as it was in heaven. However, sin invaded both heaven and earth when Lucifer and his followers, along with Adam and Eve, rebelled against God.
When a person is content with where, what, when, and why he exists, there is no experience of painful dissatisfaction, distress, or dis-ease that haunts them. There is a perfect peace that surrounds them as an insulation from anything that would seek to destroy his peace. In fact, before the “fall,” mankind experienced no form of pain or disappointment. They were truly “content with such things as they had!”
I believe that Adam’s first experience with pain was a result of disobeying God. Pay attention to the following…Genesis 3:7-8 (KJV) “And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden” (Emphasis Added).
It is very clear that the loss of innocence immediately resulted in experiencing the pain of guilt and loss. Perhaps the loss of the “Divine Protection” that the “robe of righteousness” had provided brought on the first experience of physical pain that brushing against the branches of trees and shrubs can inflict. Nonetheless, Adam and Eve experienced the “pain of sin” as the Holiness of God began to approach…
Genesis 3:9-10 (KJV) “And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself” (Emphasis Added).
The first “hint” that God made a “Promise” IN pain is when He pronounced judgment upon Satan…
Genesis 3:14-15 (KJV) “And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” (Emphasis Added).
We know that this was the Father’s promise of providing our Savior! We learn from reviewing God’s judgment upon Eve (women) that no woman would give birth to a child without the presence of pain.
Genesis 3:16 (KJV) “Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee” (Emphasis Added).
I believe the Father was already experiencing the “Promise of Pain” that would result when He sacrificed His Son on Calvary! Yet, He knew there would be a resulting joy of the possibility of reconciliation with Adam’s race that would be worth the pain.
Jesus made a reference to this as He comforted His disciples concerning His impending Passion…
John 16:20-22 (KJV) “Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you” (Emphasis Added).
Before we begin to challenge that God might ordain suffering, or a painful experience, to perfect His will in one’s life, let us consider His judgment upon Adam…
Genesis 3:17-19 (KJV) “And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return” (Emphasis Added).
Few will “catch” the heart of God in this proclamation!! “Cursed is the ground for thy sake,” has a two-fold meaning…
- God is always seeking a means whereby He may bestow His Grace and magnify His Mercy. Instead of cursing Adam, He cursed the ground. He was justified in doing so; for, He formed Adam “from the ground!”
- God desires for genuine repentance and brokenness to be made manifest so that He may justly grant His mercy. It was NOT long before Adam “fell” that God had commanded him to NOT eat of the Tree of Knowledge. Nonetheless, Adam disobeyed. Therefore, for Adam’s (mankind’s) sake, God desires that the “brokenness” of the ground would be a constant reminder of our need for brokenness! In this, the “Pain” of working contains the “Promise” of reward!James 5:7 (KJV) “Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain (Emphasis Added).
There is always a “Promise” in the “Pain” God ordains and/or allows…
Psalm 30:5 (KJV) “For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”
We will talk more about this next week!