Reverend Jonathan Goodin, Sr
Servant Leader, Repair Center Ministries
Romans 8:18 (KJV)
“What Are You in This For?”
No matter what people say getting saved is not a remedy for hurt, it does not seclude you from suffering. It does not seclude you from abstract issues that come to serve as obstacles in your life, and they do not protect you from intimate wounds that come from people you are like. In your walk of faith, you spend so much time talking about issues coming in, that you often negate and ignore how many issues come from without the system you exist in. If you’re trying to walk the walk of faith, you’re not battling enemies, you’re battling people that know you intimately. People you have served with and served alongside or share blood with and know your mess even when you try to hide it from others. No matter how cute you are, you will come to a place in your life where fatigue and frustration, mental overwhelm with economic debacles, social inequality, and biases that you thought were able to overcome will suddenly stand in your way.
What are you here for, what motivates you? The call to walk the Christian life, doesn’t matter who you are, folk don’t want you because of you, and you’re not going to be famous for it. In this work, it will hurt sometimes, and you will suffer loss. Not just loss in terms of people or friends, there are some of you who are walking the walk of faith and have suffered death in the process. It has impacted you so much that even when you try to go forward you can’t, because suffering doesn’t care about your economic status, how cute you are, or anything else about you, eventually you will deal with suffering. The question isn’t what are you suffering, but what is your suffering producing in you? What fruit do you have from your suffering?
*When you’re in this it has to be because of a personal account. You cannot get out what you don’t deposit. The reason you’re frustrated in your spiritual walk is that you’re trying to withdraw something that does not exist. You put all your efforts into a personal account that will never pay back dividends. The only thing you’ll get is what you put in, and human faculty costs a wage, but you’re giving it away because they must use it to help keep you happy. All you’re doing is paying for your own satisfaction. Do not live in overdraft mentally, emotionally, or spiritually to accommodate your inability. You have a personal account, and that account is for you and God. If you’re going to be motivated by the glory of God to fulfill the plan of God, then you must have a personal account and reflection of who you really are, so you can do it for his glory. You said you weren’t going to go there or do that, but as soon as you were in a weakened moment your flesh took over. Knowing how disgusting you were, and that God still put his hand on you and drafted you into the family of God you’re still carrying the weight of sin. When you consider that in knowing all that God knows about you, he still looks at you and gives you grace.
*When you’re in this, understand that the process is worth more than the suffering. The process is not the problem. The problem with the modern-day church is that you are so goal and destination oriented that you don’t know how to appreciate what God is trying to unpack and prune to get you there. You’re so fixated on the destination that you’re missing every opportunity for God to give you the jewels of wisdom that you need to survive the process. That’s why you break down every week and are still on the altar for the same stuff. That’s why people around you still could step on you emotionally, manipulate you mentally, overwhelm and abuse your gift and your mind because you have not allowed God to show you the value of the process. Just because you are in a process where you are breaking down does not mean God can’t use the particles of your breakdown to help bring value to another area of your life. There’s no problem in the process. The process wants to give you more than the problem ever can. The key to understanding the process is your own perspective. Who told you that you were going to always suffer, who told you that you were going to be at the bottom? The devil is a liar God was pruning you, shaping you, molding you, taking off the dead weight. He was getting rid of the fat so that in the midst of your suffering the glory in you would be revealed. Rejoice in your suffering knowing that it produces endurance, and endurance produces character. The only reason you stopped being a disgusting person to other people is that you had to suffer to get better. You can’t do what you want to do and go to heaven. You can talk about grace all you want, but grace is in levels. God said you must have a clean character.
*When you’re in this, you have to prepare yourself for the glory. What’s motivating you, what’s the real reason you do what you do? Unfortunately, suffering is a process that often identifies the motives in individuals. You don’t really know what a person thinks about you until they must suffer from your hand. Suffering has a way of making you go low when you get mad. If somebody you love does something wrong to you and you put it in your pocket for a rainy day until you need it, that’s abuse. Your motive has been identified that it wasn’t to love him or her, your motive was you needed an excuse to offend. The blessing of present-time suffering is that it’s only going to last in the present time. What you’re experiencing can’t outlast its due date. There’s an expiration date on your problem. You might be on the bottom right now, but give yourself some time, give God some time. God is trying to adjust your motive and get you out of the place where you just want a pat on the back from the Pastor, and for people to know your name. He’s trying to get you out of the place where all you want is the love of your wife or husband because sometimes that’s the source of idolatry. You want to be validated by somebody who’s just like you, who’s sinful. But God is trying to give you validation that’s bigger than flesh and the natural. That’s why he has you living for glory, and not living for houses and cars. Glory wants to come into your life and fill your life. The weight and value of God wants to come into your house so no demonic or satanic force can come against you or defeat you.