Living the Word Filled Life - In Painful Times
Most of us really don't like physical or emotional pain. North Americans consume over thirty thousand tons of aspirin a year. North Americans, who only represent 5 percent of the world's population, consume over 50% of all manufactured drugs, one-third of which work on the central nervous system. We are the most advanced society in the world in terms of suppressing pain. Yet the more we try to shut down pain, the more pain seems to surround our lives. What we really need is not less pain, but a better solution for dealing with it.
So of all the lessons of the Word Filled Life - Living that life in Painful Times may be the most relevant of all!
Today, in Ruth, we learn from her pain filled life, that it is possible to Live the Word Filled Life - even in Painful Times.
Please open to Ruth 1. Ruth is an immense spiritual figure in God's Word. If anyone has experienced pain, Ruth has. She is recorded to have gone through nearly every major category of life stopping pain. Think about her life with me.
o Ruth knew the Pain of the Past: her distant relatives were Lot and his daughter. She was the result of a line of people from an incestuous relationship. She was from a line of people cursed by God to the tenth generation. And to make matters worse, all that was written down and kept in print by God's Word - so it was inescapable.
o Ruth knew the Pain of Prejudice: she was an immigrant from a marked ethnic background. Her type was publicly singled out as unacceptable - and purposefully excluded from being comfortable in Jewish Society.
o Ruth knew the Pain of Poverty: she was widowed, she was homeless, and she was left to care for an adult parent who was her mother-in-law, and never had any help.
o Ruth knew the Pain of Financial Pressure: Ruth had to enter the job market and could only get work at the lowest entry-level low wage work as a temporary. She had to go on to welfare via Public Assistance and only got half of those funds, as she was caring for her mother-in-law.
Through all that emotional pain, physical weariness, and stress of unknowns Ruth shines as one of the godliest women of the Word Filled Life. Ruth lived a life of faith, hope, and love. How did she do it? Ruth chose to practice a Word Filled Life even in Painful Times by clinging to the Lord in the good times, and the bad - never letting go even when life, people, and her days were hard, lonely, empty, and long!
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