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As In The Days Of Noah
by Bro. Clifford Hurst
1101 North Union Road
Dayton, Ohio 45417
Shortly after 4 a.m. (Friday) I awakened with a throbbing pain that had kept visiting me throughout the week. Unable to sleep, lying awake until the 5:30 a.m. alarm, I mused of things I have read about finding blessing in pain, hearing God's voice particularly loud in pain, etc. The throbs never brought me blessings or shouts from God. They only brought waves of discouragement and exasperation. I tried to lessen the pain with the comparison gimmick: You know, remind yourself of someone in worse shape than you, and by comparison your condition will not seem near as bad. I did think of someone currently suffering far more. It motivated me to pray for that one, but it didn't help me. I could feel my pain not his. Then, I had a thought that brought me out of my self-centered fixation on my own pain: People are suffering mental and emotional and spiritual pain that, though different, is far more, well, painful, and debilitating than physical pain. After rising, the pain only greatly intensified. After about an hour of heat packs and medication, the pain eased and dulled. At that moment I reveled in and marveled at what a great thing the absence of pain is. I was content just to sit and enjoy the absence of pain. I cared for nothing else. No activity, food, pleasure, nothing called to me. It was just wonderful. Our lives here in this fallen existence are so often racked with pain--physical, emotional, mental, spiritual. A mother's teen daughter rejecting her and all she has raised her to be has embraced deviancy. A wife knows her husband is dying--she hurts, he hurts. A teenager feels rejection to the point of not wanting to live. A wife has discovered her husband's infidelity. All these pains and others I have ran into this past week. There are so many things to consider about pain, but here's two on my mind: First, pain is transferrable. I held a hot pack to the source of my pain and thought, "Wouldn't it be wonderful if this thing would suck out all the pain from me and the pain stay in the pack?" A mother has sat and watched her child writhing in pain and said, "If I could, I would take your pain from you. I'd rather I hurt than you." Scientifically, physical pain cannot be transferred from person to thing or person to person. But, pain is transferrable. The pain Jesus suffered on the cross was not just His pain originating from the wounds in His body. Much of the pain was our pain. "Surely, He has born our griefs and carried our sorrows. The chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed." So much of our pain we need not suffer if we would only embrace the fact that Jesus bore our pain that we might experience His peace, comfort, and hope. It is actually a two-way transfer: Our pain goes to Him, and His peace to us. Second, one of the chief characteristics of heaven is the absence of pain. Pain is excluded by Divine decree from the premises of heaven--not just the pain from the past, but any in the future. As I sat in my chair content not even to move because of the joy of the absence of pain, I contemplated: If the angels didn't sing, if the streets didn't shine, if the fruit of the tree of life didn't hang low, if the mansions hadn't been built, heaven would be wonderfully joyful because of the absence of pain. I wasn't thinking only of my physical pain but of the other kinds of pain so many people suffer. Whether physical, spiritual, emotional, or mental, pain medications only mask, temporarily at that, the pain. God cures pain. Actually, He cures us which takes care of the pain. We may hurt until heaven. But, hurt cannot pass through heaven's gate. Where does it go? Take a look at the Crucified One.