He Lives to Be My Good Shepherd

He Lives to Be My Good Shepherd in times of pain.  I know that’s not necessarily where you wanted to go, necessarily, on this Good Shepherd Sunday, but Peter takes us down the path of pain.

Why do sheep suffer?  It may be that all of the suffering in your life is because you are God’s sheep.  Wolves are waiting to rip you from limb to limb.  What if you are one of those sheep who loves walking on the edge of the cliff?  Do you like to frolic in the stream going ever deeper until it’s too late?  20 But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it?  Here Peter is talking about the other side of the coin.  People aren’t picking on you for walking away from a dirty joke – you’re under probation for showing up late and leaving early!  The boss doesn’t trust you because every other word out of your mouth is a lie!  Now we’re getting into a few different ways that people suffer.

I want to tell you a story – and I want to get your reaction.  This is difficult because I’m not actually going to take questions, but it’s a good one as we see how our Good Shepherd drives away our fear of pain.

There was a sheep that continued to run away.  First he was caught in a thicket.  His wool was hopelessly hooked into the thorns.  He was bloody and easy prey for a passing wolf.  The second time he fell down a ravine – and it was flash flood season.  The shepherd found him just in time.  After the third time the shepherd took the sheep and broke its leg, not because he hated the little sheep but because he love him.  Now the sheep couldn’t run but as it limped it stayed by the shepherd’s side.

That story is strong and in many ways very good, but we need to be careful with how we use it.  How do I feel if my 4-year-old twins take a table knife to the nearest power outlet over and over again?  After the third or fourth time, might I swat their little finger? The problem is that not all pain is your fault.  Another problem is that Satan works overtime to convince you that it is your fault.

Want to hear more?  Watch this week’s message taken from 1 Peter 2, He Lives to Be My Good Shepherd.

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