Posts in The Purpose of Pain
Don't Flatter Yourself

Key Scripture: Ruth 4:1-22

Description: Flattery gets us nowhere, yet we see it everywhere. We flatter ourselves through religious performance – in trying to convince ourselves and others that we’re better than we actually are. There is nothing flattering about the Gospel, however. It reveals the reason we do bad things is because we’re bad people. It says we have nothing to offer God but irredeemable spiritual debt. Still, the good news of the Gospel is that God has redeemed the irredeemable. It tells us we don’t need to flatter ourselves because we are infinitely valued by our Creator and Redeemer. It reminds us that our hope isn’t in how we might feel about ourselves, but in how He feels about us. God doesn’t owe us a “happily ever after” in this life; but He has promised us a “happily FOREVER after” with Him for all eternity.

Other Scripture References: Psalm 5:9; Proverbs 26:28; Romans 16:18; Matthew 22:15-18; Mark 10:17-18; 1 Thessalonians 2:5-6; 2 Timothy 4:3-4; Romans 3:10-12; Romans 3:23-24; Romans 5:8; 2 Corinthians 1:20-22; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 5:7-9

Redeeming Regret

We all have regrets. Maybe it’s the game-winning goal you missed in high school, or the recent promotion that passed you by. It might be the choices you made that led to your current loveless marriage, or the strained relationship with your wayward child. We can spend a lifetime trying to cope with our regrets, but there is a better solution. God offers us redemption. In Christ, payment has been made for every sin, every loss and every mistake we’ve ever made. His redemption gives us unquenchable joy, divine purpose, an eternal inheritance and a personal relationship with our Creator. Let go of regret, and rest at the feet of your Redeemer.

Scripture References: Ruth 3:1-18; 1 John 3:17-18; Luke 14:12-14; 1 Peter 4:1-2

Coincidence

Life is full of coincidences…or is it? A coincidence is defined as a remarkable series of events or circumstances with no apparent connection.  However, the Bible reveals God to be the great Connector. He is sovereign over every circumstance and all things are under His control and authority.  Nothing we experience – no matter how seemingly random or terrible - is outside of the scope of His sovereignty.  When our lives seem to be unraveling, we can find peace in knowing that our loving God always holds the thread.

Scripture References: Ruth 2:1-22; Ephesians 1:11; Romans 8:28; Psalm 56:11; Isaiah 55:8-9; Jeremiah 29:11

Coming Home

Life isn’t easy. We do what we can to avoid pain – structuring our lives to make things as safe and comfortable as possible. Yet, no matter where we go or what we do, hardship inevitably finds us. Often, we bring trials into our own lives, turning from God’s plan for us and suffering the consequences of our own choices. Fortunately, God doesn’t waste pain. He uses it to bring us Home to Him, to His people and to His unfailing promises. If you’re going through a difficult time right now, remember that your life is a part of God’s Story. He does have a plan for you. He does have a purpose. His Story is one of Redemption. You might be asking, “God, why me?” but are you actually waiting for an answer? What might He be redeeming in and through your life?

Scripture References: Ruth 1:1-22; Judges 6:2-6; Revelation 21:3-4; Judges 6:1; Hebrews 12:10-11; Philippians 3:20; Ruth 4:17