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Dec 16
2009
Mike Marshall

Pain or Gain? - A message on leadership after a painful experience

Posted by: Mike Marshall

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“I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.” 
Philippians 4:13 KJV

Have you ever thought about what life would be like if there wasn’t any pain?  The day will come when we will enter the gates of heaven and all earthly things that are evil will not exist, but until this time there is a reason for why God allows us to endure pain.

Have you ever experienced pain from a broken relationship, pain from someone who negatively brought you down, or pain of loosing a loved one?  What happens when we experience pain?   Usually, all we have in our human ability goes to the cope with the pain, but rarely do we focus our attention on what we are gaining.  It’s not until we are on the road to recover that we begin to realize that there is an opportunity to grow through our pain.  The most incredible leaders in history fulfilled mega visions, while enduring much pain physically, emotionally and mentally.

  • Moses guided thousands of people out of bondage, while everyone came against him in rebellion. 
  • Paul divulged the Holy Spirit filled word, while he suffered ridicule and false punishment
  • Noah built a jumbo sized survival boat, but was ridiculed and mocked in the process
  • Jesus redeemed the world, but was beaten to death. Pain we have never experienced and do not have to because He did.

It would seem that the amount of pain is directly related to the vision God has for us.  God promises us that we will give us nothing that we cannot handle, because we “can do all things through Christ which strengthens me” Phil 4:13.  But sometimes in the midst of trials and painful experiences we make up excuses not to finish what we have started.  Here are some examples of excuses that get us trapped into painful experiences rather than out of them.…

Excuse: I'm waiting for…

Time: If you have ever prayed the prayer “I’m just waiting on you, Lord.”?   Think different.  If you are saying these words then you are implying that God needs to catch up to what you’re doing.  We are not necessary to God. You have never waited on God.  Time doesn’t exist in God’s mind.  Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice and it wasn’t at all related to time.  In fact His death on the cross was for all-time; before, during, and after.

Excuse: I don’t have enough of…

Resources: God does not give you whatever you ask for; but the Lord will be with you, and he will give you all that you need. (John 9:3, “It was done so that the works of God may be revealed.”) God gave us everything we need to get started; the church, the Holy Spirit, the Word, and a Christ crucified.  Without pain, you don’t understand how necessary He is. The reason for the pain is so we understand His provision.

Excuse:  I didn’t meet my numbers last month

Success: In ministry, there is not always success in numbers.  God desires us to be desperate so that we see what He can do rather than what you can do.  Many leaders do not want to stay and grow a ministry through pain and discomfort, but rather believe God is always calling them to go to bigger and better place to fulfill the vision.  Start measuring your success by what you are praying for in your time with God, rather than by your “one year” goals.   Leadership is as easy as listening to God.  As leaders we can get too far ahead of the vision; sometimes God tells us just the first thing to do.  Stop planning a movement for God, but prepare for one.

No matter how much pain you are dealing with today, we serve a Savior who understands where we are.  Without pain, you don’t understand how necessary He is. The reason for the pain is so we understand His provision.

Challenge Question:  What are you willing to accomplish for God today if you knew you could not fail?


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