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01.01.1970 01:0000    Comments: 0    Categories: You Asked (Text Files)      Tags:

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"Can you help me understand why we need to be free from pain (as taught in TPM) when we are called to suffer in this life as believers.  The Apostle Peter said, 'In the same way that Christ suffered in the flesh arm yourselves for the same purpose.'   It seems to me that always focusing on finding release from pain short circuits the maturing process that God has called us to attain.  I believe we need to focus on Jesus and bear the pain that comes into our lives."
Ed Smith's response:

I agree with you that we are called to share in the sufferings of Christ.  I believe that this journey of suffering is a vital part of the sanctifying work that God has called us to fulfill.  However, there is a big difference between standing in and suffering through the fire of refinement and carrying emotional duress that is rooted in lies that we are harboring.  Suffering for Christ is rooted in the truth while emotions such as fear, worry, anxiety, frustration, depression, hopelessness, helplessness, etc. are not rooted in the truth and are in conflict with Biblical truth.  God wants us to walk in truth and peace, not anxiety and fear.  However, we will feel what we truly believe.  Our emotional state always gives a clear picture of what we are believing in any given moment.  I can say "my God shall supply all of my needs" but if I lose my job and experience fear and anxiety I am obviously believing something else.  God wants me free from this pain. Theophostic Prayer Ministry does NOT teach a life free of all pain but rather a life free of pain that is rooted in lies (or what is called lie-based pain).  TPM teaches that we are destined to suffer with Christ.  It is by God's design that lies produce pain (so that we might become aware of them) but not that we carry this pain any longer than it takes to identify its root and receive His truth and consequential peace.  He wants us to walk in truth.  We are told to "be anxious for NOTHING..."  When we are feeling anxious we are in direct conflict with God's word.  Anxiety is rooted in lie based thinking.  The same is true for fear.  We are told to "fear not..."  When I walk in fear I am not walking in the truth.  Any emotional duress that is rooted in lies is not an emotion the Lord desires we harbor.  However, suffering in this life is inevitable. But this type of pain is not lie-based.  It is a fact that many will suffer for Him.  But if in this suffering I am racked with emotional pain that is rooted in false thinking then this pain is  such that the Lord desires we be free of. 
I do not believe it is God's will for me to believe lies, therefore experiencing the pain that results from these lies cannot be God's will either. But pain that comes from faulty thinking is very different from the suffering that comes to Christians as a result of their life circumstances and/or overt persecutions that are part of God's plan. I recognize that this latter kind of suffering is necessary for the maturing of believers. As a matter of fact, suffering is a primary tool God uses to expose our lie-based thinking. When the "fire" of suffering comes, our true beliefs will be exposed; they will surely surface during the test. If during the test, truth (experiential truth, not just logical or cognitive truth) reigns in our thinking, we will remain in peace. But if we harbor lies, they will be exposed and we will respond to it from our lie-based beliefs and painful emotions will surface that match our beliefs. The Bible is clear that trials and suffering are ordained by God and necessary for the believer. The Apostle Peter wrote, "...since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose..." (1 Peter 4:1). He was perplexed by the church's reaction to their suffering: "Why are you so surprised by the fiery ordeal that has come upon you. Did you not know that it has come for your testing [refinement/exposure]?" (1 Peter 4:12 brackets mine). Paul, also, believed God had destined Christians to suffer affliction, "...for you yourselves know that we have been destined for this [to suffer for Christ]" (1 Thessalonians 3:3 brackets mine). Here are a few passages that indicate that suffering in this life is an inevitable part of the journey. It is also important to note that it is the refining fire of suffering that exposes our lie-based thinking. We will feel (during the fire) whatever we believe. Our emotions are an accurate exposure of what we experientially believe in any given moment. The fire will expose that which needs to be offered up to Jesus so that He might replace such thinking with His truth.

§ Suffering produces character: "...tribulation brings about perseverance..." (Romans 5:3).


§ Suffering brings eternal benefits: "...those who suffer will receive the crown of life" (Revelation 2:10).


§ Present suffering pales in comparison to the glory we will experience: "...the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us" (Romans 8:18).


§ We have been called to suffer: "For to you it has been granted for Christ's sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake..." (Philippians 1:29).


§ We find favor with God when we suffer for Him: "...when you do what is right and suffer for it and you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God." (1 Peter 2:20).


§ We are blessed when we are required to suffer: "...if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed" (1 Peter 3:14).


§ Suffering exposes our lies, which ultimately provides a way to greater victory: "...since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin" (1 Peter 4:1).


§ Suffering is the will of God: "...let those also who suffer according to the will of God entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right" (1  Peter 4:19).


§ God is accomplishing a good work in us through suffering: "...after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you" (1 Peter 5:10).


§ Our suffering with Him will result in our being glorified with Him: "...if indeed we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him" (2 Timothy 3:17).

Freedom from lie-based emotional pain is found by knowing the truth.  This is what TPM is about.  Freedom from Lie-based pain.  This is a very clear teaching of this ministry.  Please look in the Basic Seminar Manual, web site and the book Healing Life's  Hurts Through Theophostic Prayer (currently out of stock)  for a more careful examination of this distinction.
Hope that this helps
Ed Smith

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