Everyone that knows me knows I’m a huge sports fan. Among those is football. I love playing football and I love watching football. This weekend was the induction ceremony for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. And I was sitting in a hotel room in Arkansas and happened to turn the TV on and caught the majority of the event. And at one point I tweeted that it felt like there was a church service going in in Canton given some of the speeches.
The one that really resonated with me with Brian Dawkins. Dawkins was a defensive back who played mainly for the Philadelphia Eagles (also some time with the Denver Broncos). His speech got into not just his career but more importantly his faith in Christ as well as the pain and struggles that he dealt with including dealing with depression.
What really stuck with me was when he said the following:
“See there’s a purpose for my pain. There’s a purpose for my pain.”
Those words stuck with me. They stuck with me when I immediately heard it. And they have stuck with me these several days later. These last five years or so I’ve dealt with pain. Emotional pain, mental pain, spiritual pain. It has been a season of my life that has been a tremendous struggle. There have been more rough days than calm days in these last five years or so.
And so when I heard Dawkins’ speech and he was mentioning those words, they resonated with me. I need to be reminded that there is a purpose for it. I may not fully understand the reason for this pain, ultimately the purpose is for me to get closer to Jesus and to point people to Him. If there’s anyone that knows purpose in pain, it’s Jesus.
If you have not seen his speech, take some time and watch. It is worth it:
This week’s “Thursday Quote Day” features another quote from theologian G.K. Chesterton:
“To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.” (G.K. Chesterton)
“For when God made a promise to Abraham, since He had no one greater to swear by, He swore by Himself:
I will indeed bless you,
and I will greatly multiply you.
And so, after waiting patiently, Abraham obtained the promise. For men swear by something greater than themselves, and for them a confirming oath ends every dispute. Because God wanted to show His unchangeable purpose even more clearly to the heirs of the promise, He guaranteed it with an oath, so that through two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to seize the hope set before us. We have this hope as an anchor for our lives, safe and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain. Jesus has entered there on our behalf as a forerunner, because He has become a high priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.” (Hebrews 6:13-20)
Promises. When God makes a promise, He delivers. He is always faithful to deliver. We may have to wait for His timing but God is faithful. We see here in Hebrews the writer talk about God’s promise to Abraham. God’s promise was fulfilled in full to Abraham. Likewise, when Jesus came, God’s promise of redemption was fulfilled. And someday Jesus will return just like was promised.
Whether you are going through a season of waiting (like I am) or you’re about to enter that time, remember God’s promises. Remember God’s faithfulness. We have a hope in Jesus. We have an anchor that secures our faith. Let us continue to trust and be faithful in the wait and trust in the promises that God has given to us.
This week’s “Thursday Quote Day” features a quote from pastor and author A.W. Tozer:
“The world is perishing for lack of the knowledge of God and the church is famishing for want of His presence. The instant cure of most of our religious ills would be to enter the Presence in spiritual experience, to become suddenly aware that we are in God and that God is in us. This would…cause our hearts to be enlarged…” (A.W. Tozer)
“Jesus responded to them, “Do you now believe? Look: An hour is coming, and has come, when each of you will be scattered to his own home, and you will leave Me alone. Yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.” (John 16:31-33)
Jesus always made it a point to tell His disciples how hard the road would be in following Him He never sugarcoated it. It was a path of struggle and pain and loneliness. But it was all worth it because of who it was they were following.
Here as the days were drawing closer to Jesus’ arrest and crucifixion, Jesus tells them of what was to come. Even in the midst of turmoil, Jesus brings peace. Even in the midst of suffering, Jesus brings hope.
I’m reminded today of all the heartache and struggles that these words still resonate. Even though there is immense suffering in this world, we can take heart. Jesus has overcome the world! So as we endure the trials and tribulations of this world, let us keep on the path of following Jesus. Let us be courageous in following Him.