Pain is a Sentinel
Pain can be a physical, emotional and/or spiritual sentinel alerting us to things and forces that would attempt to injure the
body, mind or spirit. The Hedonist is one who is in "pursuit of or devoted to pleasure, especially to the pleasures of the
senses and believes that only what is pleasant or has pleasant consequences is intrinsically good".
(1)  The Hedonist has as
his catchword the phrase 'the absence of pain is pleasure', thus commissioning a lifestyle that seeks 'pleasure' and
willfully avoids experiences that would be inconvenient, annoying or painful. If the body cannot feel pain the skin cannot
sense when it is close to fire, wounds cannot be felt when bleeding occurs and insults to the body may at first go
unnoticed. Extrinsic pain is a cardinal symptom that the body is in jeopardy of injury or is in distress. Long distant
runners and deep free-divers learn to gauge their strength reserves by the degree of pain they are experiencing. The
secular world has its 'wisdom'
(2) gained through experience and the Kingdom of God has His wisdom imparted to the
faithful and those keeping His commandments.
As born again, Spirit filled believers "...  scriptures tell us that "in the place of bitterness and frustration, a disciple of
Jesus tends to take heart in difficulty simply because he knows that God uses the difficulties of existence to produce
"perseverance" (endurance), "character" (discernment), and "hope" (confident assurance)."
(5)  The 'sufferings' referred to
in this passage of Romans are experiences the secular world attempts to avoid at all cost
.  Secularism sees such
'sufferings' as weakening influences, and surely not as things able to brace and fortify the character. Christian
understanding of certain "sufferings" leads to a realization that there can be an intrinsic maturing which comes through
experiences that require 'standing'
(6), patience , perseverance, and endurance. The good judgment, sound reasoning and
moral-based lifestyle, clamored for today by "talking TV heads" in the commercial media, are all qualities or fruits yielded
by one's
character. We read in Proverbs "the Lord tests the heart"(7)  and in Psalms "the Lord trieth the righteous".(8)  
Testing, trials, troubling, sufferings, and painful plights in our journey down God's pathway of righteousness(9)  are
inevitable. There are painful consequences associated with just living in an imperfect world, as well as the consequences
ushered in and brought about by sin and its minion servants (the demonic).
Dare to allow God to take you through a course of perfecting encouragement's.(10)   Dare to stay the course no matter
what the cost or travail, so that God may complete His work in you. Do not allow yourself to be left unfinished or
incomplete because you bolted before He finished that which He had already spoken over you.
(11)   Look at pain in your
life as a
sentinel signaling you to focus your undivided attention on what God has already done to prepare you to be
brought out of your circumstance; take your eyes off what does not work as
you think it should. Let your pain be a
watchman, sentry, and foretoken of the need for change in your life ... change which will fashion you for God's purpose
and not your own happenstance.  Learn now to take from pain and suffering, as did the Apostle Paul, the strength to let
God's Word be performed in you and your life ... the
charter, mind, love and righteousness of Christ are not perfected in
your life through fortuitousness. The pain and suffering that can come from just living in the world and the attacks of the
enemy require us to be perfected in His likeness in order to walk in His victory.
(12)   Let your pain, be it physical,
emotional or spiritual, be a semaphore
to seek God's promises for your circumstance and believe He has already provided
for whatever the need is in your situation)(s).
(13)   Jesus is the 'Lord of our circumstance' and the One 'who redeems us
out of the hand of our enemies',
(14) even the clutches of our pain.
(1) [Amer. Heritage. Dic.]  (2) [1 Cor. 1:20; 1 Cor. 3:19]  (3) [Deu. 7:9]  (4) [Rom 5:3-4 Niv]  (5) [BSB]  (6) [Eph. 6:13]  (7) [Prov. 17:3]  (8) [Psa. 11:5]
(9) [Prov. 12:28]  (10) [Psa. 119:67]  (11) [Isa. 55:11]  (12) [2 Cor. 3:18; Lk. 9:23 ? Niv]  (13) [Phil. 4:19]  (14) [Micah 4:10]
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