Leanne Payne, whose ministry of inner healing has been very formative in my life, uses the phrase, “stand in your pain.” She is referring, of course, to the pain caused by our sins and the sins of others becoming lodged in our souls. John Eldredge calls them “arrows”. As we deal with this pain, we are encouraged to look up with “the eyes of our hearts” (Eph. 1:18) and see Jesus bearing our pain in his body. Matt 8:17 reminds us that Jesus, “took up our infirmities and bore our diseases.” (Matt 8:17). We are to stand erect, looking “up and out” to Jesus. The danger is to be bent in on self or looking to others for approval and affirmation.
I found this phrase most helpful for at least four reasons. First, dealing with my pain, that is, the residue of guilt, shame, disappointment, fear, etc. is a process. The pain indicates the cancerous affects of sin in my soul. At first I don’t want to admit what is being exposed. So I stand exposed in my pain. Secondly, I have learned there is a place to go with my pain. I can go to Jesus. He sees, understands and is able to handle anything I bring to him. Thirdly, not only does Jesus understand, but he took my pain into his body on the cross. Fourthly, at the foot of the cross standing in my pain, looking up to Jesus on the cross, I can unload my awful burden unto him.
Men, listen to the way The Message puts it in Col 2:13-15, “When you were stuck in your old sin-dead life, you were incapable of responding to God. God brought you alive – right along with Christ. Think of it! All sins forgiven, the slate wiped clean, that old arrest warrant canceled and nailed to Christ’s cross. He stripped all the spiritual tyrants in the universe of their sham authority at the Cross and marched them naked through the street.” The arrest warrant for your sin has been nailed to the cross.
Men, I exhort you, after all these years of being a follower of Jesus, don’t loss your focus on the cross. If you begin to have doubts about God love and commitment to you, just spend some time at the cross. There you will find love and mercy reaching out to you. I know I cry out for mercy often. I am not deserving of mercy, but because of his great love and sacrifice for me on the cross, I can come as a man in need of God mercy. Praise God!!
There may be a man who is in a dark and lonely place as you read this blog. I declare to you, on the authority of God’s Word, that Jesus has taken your burden unto himself. Our part is to stand up, erect, looking to Jesus and offering this simple prayer. It is the desperate prayer of blind Bartimaeus in his desperate situation, he had only one chance to get the attention of Jesus. His prayer was simple, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.” (Mark 10: 47) Jesus hears such a prayer and will be with you. You might have to keep praying it for a time. But Jesus will be there and will carry your load.