No Pain, No Gain

November 13, 2001 PM
Pastor Chris Abernathy
Columbus, Georgia

If you would, turn in your Bibles with me to the book of Matthew chapter twenty-six. That's Matthew chapter twenty-six. We'll be reading verse thirty-six through verse forty-six. Matthew chapter twenty-six, verse thirty-six through verse forty-six. And when you get there, signify by saying, "Amen." Reader.

36. Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.

37. And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.

38. Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.

39. And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

40. And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?

41. Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

42. He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.

43. And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy.

44. And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.

45. Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.

46. Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me.

Tonight we will entitle our message, "No Pain, No Gain." "No Pain, No Gain." Let us pray.

Most holy and gracious heavenly Father, we thank and praise You for this time together with You and Your Name. Hide Your servant behind the cross, that Your people would see You and not me. Father, as I decrease I ask that You would increase.

Lord God, I ask that You would touch my body right now in the Name of Jesus. I thank You, Lord, according to Your Word that you are Jehovah Rapha. In the Name of Jesus. Lord, we thank You that Your Anointing does the work for us. In Jesus' Name, amen.

No pain, no gain. We all suffer pain, whether it be physical or whether it be emotional. We all suffer pain. Sometimes pain carries an intensity that will cause us even to go into a place of despair in our lives.

When we look at the Word of God, it gives us principles to deal with our painful situations. When we know how to respond, that pain (glory to God) that seemed as though it was going to destroy us is the same pain that's going to prepare us to do the greater works that God has (hallelujah Jesus) for us to do. It will prepare us to do a greater service unto the Lord.

When we look at Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, there are some lessons that we can all learn. If we are going to be prepared to do a work for the Lord, we will have our own Gethsemane. I don't know about you, but every now and then I go through my place of Gethsemane when I got to get down on my knees, because the burden seems to be just a little bit too much for me to bear.

If you're going to do a great thing for the Lord (hallelujah), you're going to have your Gethsemane. When we look at that word "Gethsemane" (glory to God) it means oil press. It means oil press.

When we look at where olive oil comes from, it comes from an olive. And when we look at what they do, they take that olive. And they take the flesh of that olive, and they begin to press it. And they press it, and they press it.

In your garden of Gethsemane, God is going to take your flesh, and He's going to press it and press it and press it and press it and press it all over again and again and again, until the oil flows out.

When we look at what God is doing with us in that Garden of Gethsemane, just like they take the flesh of that olive, He's taking our flesh and He's separating our flesh from our spirit. You better hear me tonight. He's separating. He's extracting our flesh from our spirit, because He doesn't want to deal with no flesh. Our God wants to deal with our spirit man. Glory to God.

Pain and suffering is only a waste (listen to me) when we allow it to be a waste. No pain, no gain. When you're going through something, that pain that you have in your emotions, that pain that you're feeling, it doesn't have to be a waste. You don't hear me tonight. It can be something that'll take you to the very next level in God if you respond to it right.

In order for God to accomplish His will and His purpose for our lives, we've got to go to Gethsemane. Oh, you don't hear me yet. You got to go to that place where it's the oil press, so He can separate your flesh from your spirit. In the Name of Jesus.

When we look at pain and suffering, it's instrumental to us in the Kingdom of God, because it's instruction. Why is it instruction? Because it brings me back to purpose. Though I may be seeming as though I can't take it no more, that garden of Gethsemane is going to cause me to get down on my knees. You don't hear me tonight. It's going to cause me to get into an intimate place with God. Oh, I feel Jesus tonight.

It's not only (glory to God) going to be instructional, but it's going to be purifying. The Bible said Jesus prayed until sweat like drops of blood came pouring down from Him. It's going to be a place of purifying. It's going to extract all those impurities out of you that cause you to murmur and to complain and tell God, "He ain't right." You don't hear me tonight.

Jesus begged Him, He said, "Father, if this cup could pass from Me..." He said He was feeling a little heavy. You ain't never been there. You ain't never had no burdens on your shoulders. You ain't never had no yoke around your neck. If you're going to do the work of the Lord, you've got to go by Gethsemane.

Let me tell you something. God knows whether to manifest a blessing. And He knows whether (glory to God) to send you pain. Because one way or the other they are both what we will call motivators. Excuse me. You will either be motivated by the blessing or you'll be either motivated by the pain.

But what God will do... Glory to God. He knows that when He blesses you, you're only going to lift up your hands for a little while. Oh, who... You don't hear me tonight. We seem to remember the pain a little bit more than we remember the blessing. They're both motivators. And He knows which one to send at what time to send it. In the Name of Jesus.

There's going to be an atmosphere of intimacy. Gethsemane is going to bring you into an atmosphere of intimacy. You've been wondering why you've been going through the things you've been going through. God's trying to be intimate with you. Oh, you don't hear me. But you would rather make love to the cares of the world than to allow the Lord to come into you (you don't hear me) and you go into Him.

It's a place of intimacy. It'll cause you to get down on your knees. The Bible said Jesus had to go three times. You don't hear me tonight. You ain't never had a burden where you got off your knees, but you had to go right back, then you got off your knees again, but no, you had to go back again.

Every now and then I get heavy enough where I got to keep going back and going back and going back and going back again, until I say finally, "Not my will, but Thy will be done." In the Name of Jesus.

Our Gethsemane may be painful for two reasons. It may be painful because He wants you to recognize and understand the pain that Jesus went through when He went to the cross, when He came off His throne in glory (you don't hear me), when He left the holy Trinity to come down here and walk like flesh.

Grace costs more than what we realize. The grace that we have did not come cheap. That unmerited favor that you are enjoying, but you don't know how to enjoy, it didn't come cheap.

Saints of God, I know you're going through something right now, but it'll pass after a while. When you decide to say...(tongues)..., "Lord, not my will but Thine be done," that's when you're going to get peace. That's when Jesus told the disciples, He said, "Rise." That's when you're going to speak to your spirit man (glory to God) and you're going to say, "Rise, because I got a work to complete."

After a while you're going to come to the place where you speak to your own self. The Bible said David encouraged himself in the Lord. You're going to come to a place where you (glory to God) motivate yourself. Don't nobody got to pat you on the back. Don't nobody got to clap their hands for you. Oh, I feel Jesus in this house.

We got to go by Gethsemane. In Gethsemane He wants us to learn the principles of dealing with pain. They're are principles. The world wants us to pop pills for the pain. Oh, you don't hear me. Prozac. What else is there? But Jesus is saying, "Get on your knees and spend a little time in prayer."

When I learn to deal with pain, I become more valuable to the Kingdom. Listen. I want to be valuable. I want Jesus to see the value in me. I want Him to know that I'm not just another knucklehead in the pulpit, that His dying on the cross wasn't in vain, that I know what He did and I know the price He paid to do it.

I'm going by Gethsemane. That's where I'm going. It seems as though people that walk in the midst of what God is doing in the earth suffer the most. Many people think when they get in the right place with God, it's going to be gravy.

Let me tell you something. You thought where you were there was turbulence. Get where He wants you to be. I guarantee you there'll be tempestuous winds that'll try to blow you down, things that'll come your way that you could never even imagine.

God's purpose, saints of God, His purpose (listen to this) is greater than our pleasure. We want to put our pleasure before His purpose. But His purpose is greater than our pleasure. It's greater than me pleasing this flesh. I got to get this flesh under, that God can show forth from me.

No pain, no gain. That's the rule you can live and die by. If you're in the things of God and you never experience any pain, you must not be in the right place. It's not the picture that you see on TV with the domes and the flowers that cover the pulpit. That's only what you can see on the outside. But a lot of those ministers go through hell on the inside.

They go through Gethsemane. They feel like giving up like you do. But then it's like Jeremiah when he said, "It was like fire shut up in my bones." He said, "I couldn't stay there. I couldn't stay in my depression. I couldn't stay there. I had to get up and go on to the next location that He has for me."

When we go through our garden of Gethsemane, we need our friends around. We need saints around us. Contrary to popular opinion, we need each other. (Tongues.) I need you, and you need me. That's why when Jesus told them to watch and pray, watch while He went to pray, those were His friends back there.

But when He came back to check on them, His friends were asleep. And then He went back again and came back again. And His friends were asleep again. Then He went back and came back again. And they were asleep again. And He said, "Sleep on." He had even told them, "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." He was even concerned even at His time of burden for them being tempted in the hour of temptation.

What kind of friend are you? If you ask your friend to watch your back and they don't watch it, are you going to cut them off? Jesus didn't. He said, "Sleep on." He understands what it means to be a real friend. He was trying to teach them something. Friends mess up sometimes. Hello, somebody. If I mess up on you, that doesn't mean I'm not your friend. They messed up on Him three times. And Jesus still told them to, "Come on and go with Me."

Many of us, a friend can mess up on us one time and that's it. Ain't got nothing else to do with you. It's tight, but it's right and it's real. Because that's how we are. But Jesus told them, He said, "Sleep on."

The longer we live, the more we'll know the value of real friends. Now don't get me wrong. There are those that pretend to be a friend and they're snakes in disguise. But that's when the spirit of discernment kicks in. Do you hear what I'm saying? They can be a Christian and still have a snake in them. They haven't been delivered yet. They still have that corporate mentality to cut the throat.

Saints, He was concerned about His friends when He was the one going through. The natural mind can't even comprehend that. I'm the one going through. You're supposed to be helping me. Do you hear me tonight?

When you are going through your Gethsemane, you're going to get so in tune with the Spirit of God if you respond right, that Satan won't be able to bring anything your way, that you won't recognize it for what it is.

Many of us when we're going through Gethsemane, we're struggling there. Jesus struggled there. Sometimes when you get ready to pray, the burdens can be on you so intensely that you're struggling to pray. There's nothing wrong with that. Every now and then you will struggle in prayer. But Jesus wasn't struggling on whether or not to obey God.

See, most of us when we're going through our garden of Gethsemane, our thought is not like Jesus. But we're trying to struggle with whether or not I should do the Word or not. That wasn't His struggle. He was struggling in prayer because He didn't want to be separated from God.

When Jesus hung on the cross and He said (listen), "It is finished," He was separated from His Father. That's what Jesus was struggling with. He already knew the plan. The plan was redemption. He was alright with that. That's why grace costs so much. He had to be separated from His Father. He took on the sins of the world. And God couldn't look at sin. And that's why He was separated. And He was struggling with that.

Saints of God, when you're in the garden of Gethsemane, don't struggle with whether or not to be obedient with the Word. Don't do that. Be obedient to the Word. If you're struggling, so be it. But don't let your struggle be against the Word of God.

When the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they fought against God every step of the way. But when they got to Canaan, there was a change that was made. They didn't fight with God any more. They fought alongside with God.

Saints of God tonight, we can hurt so bad that it seems like we can't pray. But Luke eighteen and one tells us to pray and not to faint. The key to going through pain, number one, is to acknowledge that God is in control. And number two is to remember that though I'm going through this thing, there's a limitation in time that He's going to allow me to go through it. And there's a limit to the intensity of the pain that He's going to allow me to feel.

He won't give us more than what we can bear. Remember that. There's going to be a limitation in the time. And also there is going to be a limitation in the intensity of the pain.

But let me close with this. He loves us enough to let us hurt. Come on, give God a handclap of praise.

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