Message Recap | 11.30.2014
Speaker: Aaron Taylor, Lead Pastor
I grew up in a very small family which included mom, dad, and a twin brother. But that wasn’t the case with my mom or my dad. They both grew up in very large families with many brothers and sisters. A gathering of family from either my mom or my dad’s side was a grand occasion. Aunts, uncles, cousins galore. We were all joined together by the love of the family. We played together, we shared clothes with each other, and we had great times of celebration of every birthday, every holiday, and every other day you can think of, or so it seemed as I grew up.
But sometimes that is not the case with some families as we will hear today. We will learn about dysfunctional families, rejection, betrayal, loneliness, and broken shattered dreams. In God’s Word it’s the life of Joseph. In our current world, it’s Alysabeth’s story. Like Joseph, Alysabeth experienced pain and difficulty and did not have the best home life. Yet by the grace of God, Alysabeth found hope and has turned her pain into purpose.
How can we turn our pain into purpose? How can we not waste pain, but instead redeem it for God’s Glory? Today, we are going to explore the life of Joseph from the Old Testament and we are going to see some things that Joseph did that turned his pain into purpose. But first, we must address the Reality of Pain.
Suffering is everywhere, unavoidable, and its scope often overwhelms. Every hour, more than five children throughout the world will have died from abuse and violence during that time.” Every day, more than one hundred children will have died violently. But this is, of course, only one of innumerable forms and modes of suffering. Thousands die from traffic accidents or cancer every hour, and hundreds of thousands learn that their loved ones are suddenly gone. That is comparable to the population of a small city being swept away every day, leaving families and friends devastated in the wake. Shakespeare understood this when he wrote: “Each new morn new widow’s howl, new orphans cry, new sorrows strike heaven on the face.”
Pain is very real and we don’t want to deny its existence or pretend it doesn’t have an impact on our lives. It does and the reality is that all of us are affected by the fallen world in which we live and painful circumstances that result from it.
But there is hope! Although pain is a reality, we can allow God to redeem our pain and turn our pain into something that can be used for His purpose! And there is no better story in the Bible that shows this than Joseph of the Old Testament.
If you want to learn more about From Pain to Purpose as found in Alysabeth’s Story and Joseph of the Old Testament, listen to our podcast at http://painesvilleag.com/story for the complete message.
Friend, to move from pain into God’s purpose for your life you must recognize that God is with you always. It’s a promise from His Word. Refuse to be a victim or to hang onto unforgiveness, bitterness, or rage. You must reframe your pain. When I speak of reframing your pain, I am speaking of seeing God’s big picture and purpose. God used the sorrows of Joseph’s life to shape him into the man He desired him to become. The trials Joseph faced, and the trials you and I face, are never easy. They do, however, teach us to depend on God. Our trials help us to maintain a tender and compassionate heart. Our trials teach us the value of tears. Our trials make us useful to the Lord. We should never seek to shun the trials of life. In shunning our trials, we are also shunning the best of God’s blessings in this life. A.W. Tozer once said, “It is doubtful that God ever used anyone greatly without first hurting them deeply.”
This week, ask yourself, “Will I choose to waste my pain or will I allow the Lord to redeem it for His purpose?” Then go to God in prayer and ask Him to show you the purpose of your pain and maybe…just maybe…God will show you the person your testimony will impact for His eternal plan.