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Session 20

The pain that leads to progress

Read: Ecclesiastes 12:8-14

Not all pain is the same. There is pain that pulls us down, and there is pain that leads to progress. There is pain we should prevent, and there is pain we should pursue. The key to progress is knowing which pain is which. 

Ecclesiastes 12:11 says, "The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails—given by one shepherd." A goad is a cattle prod — a sharp metal object on a handle used to keep cattle moving. 

In our lives, Jesus is the shepherd, and the Bible is the cattle prod. Jesus said if we want to truly follow Him we have to be committed to obeying God's Word (John 14:23). When God's word tells us what we want to do (or are doing) is not God's plan for us, it is a painful thing to hear. But that pain, like a prod, will always keep us on the right path and moving forward. To choose to ignore God's Word and do things our own way feels good at the time, but pain will come later and will last longer. 

Not only does following God's Word keep us moving forward, but the collective wisdom in the Bible provides security and stability in times of trouble. Jesus said if we hear and obey His commands, the worst storms would not destroy us (Matthew 7:24-27).

While God's words are not always easy to hear, His direction is priceless. The best thing we can do is live in awe of God and obey His commands. 

Reflect:

  • Is there an area of your life in which you are not obeying God’s Word?
  • What pain of change do you need to commit to enduring to avoid the pain of regret in that area?
  • Are you living in the regret and consequences of a time you ignored God's wisdom? God doesn't want you to live that way. Connect with us here, and someone will help you get back on the road to progress.

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