O how true this is. It has taken me 10+ years of being in full time ministry to truly grasp and understand those three words. Think about it. What did Jesus do for us all? He took the ultimate pain so we could be promoted. Read Isaiah 53:
53 Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
4 Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
8 By oppression[a] and judgment he was taken away.
Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of my people he was punished.[b]
9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the LORD makes[c] his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.
11 After he has suffered,
he will see the light of life[d] and be satisfied[e];
by his knowledge[f] my righteous servant will justify many,
and he will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,[g]
and he will divide the spoils with the strong,[h]
because he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.
Have you ever been rejected? Most people have been rejected at some point in their lives. I wonder sometimes why this happens to many of us. I have been privileged to witness rejection. Your probably thinking to yourself, “Privileged What?” I count it as a blessing from God to allow me to experience rejection. Whether it is me being rejected or seeing someone else be rejected, I get just a glimpse of what God feels each time someone rejects Him.
Rejection is painful. It shows itself in many different ways. Yet no matter the form, rejection is painful. Think with me about Joseph the interpreter of dreams. God took him from slave to second in command of all Egypt. Joseph endured the pain for years before God stepped in and PROMOTED him to be Pharaohs’ right hand man.
There are many examples of people in the Word of God that had to go through the pain before they were promoted. Some of them are Moses, Abraham, David, and Job, just to name a few. They all went through different things at different times, but they are all connected to the pain preceding promotion.
Let’s be honest, pain is something we try our best to avoid. Yet, it is through these times of pain that we become weak, tired, and broken. Every time I have gone through a dark and painful trial of life, I did not understand why. Each time I would cry out to God and beg Him to show mercy and each time He answered with love and mercy. He did not always answer immediately, but He did answer. I praise God for those painful times because He was refining me and shaping me to better reflect Him.
There is an old saying that until you walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, you will not completely understand their pain. Some of the greatest men and women of the Bible endured a pain that most of us would walk away from, but they embraced it as the Love of God. They understood that pain was only for a greater purpose. Some never received the promotions in this life, but I believe that they are receiving it in Heaven right now.
A word of encouragement goes a long way, but until you are broken before The Lord, you will not understand just how much God Loves you.
From my heart to yours,