Bill Mounce

For an Informed Love of God

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Sunday, July 30

I wish you (some) pain

Did you see Chief Justice Roberts' graduation speech at his son's ninth-grade commencement? This is the part that caught my eye.

From time to time in the years to come, I hope you will be treated unfairly, so that you will come to know the value of justice.

I hope that you will suffer betrayal because that will teach you the importance of loyalty.

Sorry to say, but I hope you will be lonely from time to time so that you don’t take friends for granted.

I wish you bad luck, again, from time to time so that you will be conscious of the role of chance in life and understand that your success is not completely deserved and that the failure of others is not completely deserved either.

And when you lose, as you will from time to time, I hope every now and then, your opponent will gloat over your failure. It is a way for you to understand the importance of sportsmanship.

I hope you’ll be ignored so you know the importance of listening to others, and I hope you will have just enough pain to learn compassion.

Whether I wish these things or not, they’re going to happen. And whether you benefit from them or not will depend upon your ability to see the message in your misfortunes.

You can see the full address at Time.


I really appreciate it when a message/excerpt like this is shared. It helps me (us?) reframe things and consider pain from a vantage point that I (we?) had not pondered or a perspective that challenges my own common and "business as usual" approach/response to pain. Thanks for sharing this Dr. Mounce! May your wish be granted! Blessings upon all who are benefitted from this challenge! E.T.

This was really outstanding.

It was his son't ninth grade graduation, rather than being a nine year old son. I thought such advice for nine year olds might be a bit much. Great post, thanks for pointing it out.

Bill - Thanks for posting. Worthwhile. Greg

this is such a foolish article wishing people misfortune and telling people this is a way to experience the goodness change and the Goodness of God. It is not scriptural. He bore it all on the cross so I would not have to. If any of these things come upon me, and some of them will. I know it is either my bad choices the bad choices of others or the enemy. All this "make you grow crap" is so over rated. If it were true we would all be spittle giants. growth in everyones Faith comes by hearing, hearing comes by Yeshua, who is the Word, then that word is watered by the manifestation of that Word experienced in a persons life, and GOD GIVING THE INCREASE of Faith. All this Pain and suffering is hog wash!!!!!!!!! .

Debbie, your comment doesn't make any sense. Pain absolutely makes you grow deeper in your understanding of the gospel. Why did Jesus learn obedience through suffering (Heb 5:8)? If Jesus suffered to learn, why will it be different for us? God took the greatest act of evil in human history (murdering Jesus Christ on the cross) and used it for the greatest good in human history (resurrection and redemption of all who believe). If you think the reason Jesus died is so that you don't have to suffer, you've severely misread the Bible. Jesus didn't die to make us comfortable. When we believe lies like that, it cheapens the cross.

Jordan I agree with your statement. Debbie you need to better understand the word of God!

Debbie, with all due respect, forgiveness is God bearing the ultimate penalty for our sin, it is not a removal of temporal consequences, nor is it saying that God does not discipline us. Please review such passages as 1 Corinthians 11:32, Hebrews 12 to see that God disciplines us as sons. Also, review passages such as John 16;33 where Jesus tells his disciples that in the world we will have tribulation. He does not promise to remove this from us but that he has overcome it. 1 Peter is also a great epistle that describes a church under persecution, how we will suffer for righteousness, and the Christian response to such suffering. 1 Peter is well worth the time to read it. Peace be with you.

God bless you , this statement may sound stupid for some people , but is true we need that to group I had a lot if this , and don't want to keep going on this situations, but those are situations that we will never forget because they were the best teachers of our life. We have to thank God for those times and situations i went trough , like my divorce, lost of properties, bad situations with my children, betray by brothers and sisters even my own father. tears all night and day , after bean constable with finance , been with nothing at home to eat, i when with out a refrigerator for 6 month, brothers at church did not see it my family did not see it, I cry out of loneliness , and to have to come church an teach the power of God to the brothers when you are hungry with no money for gas , this is grand days in mu life . But today i am a happy person with my self and every one, I know what is to listen to God voice and each one of the prayer , he said "I will be with you to the end" and then wi don't see how or the light. trough this situation we lear what you just explained , i am a real testimony of it. Yes we need some of that to learn the Gods way . My son said one time, I so you escalated so high like a strong woman, i sought your never will fall from that high mountain , but then I saw you fall down the hills with out stoping, and when you hit the button , I saw how strong you are , i saw you escalate the mountain of God and to become a real woman of God , and I don't know why God chose you , i just don't understand he said. You may me review my life and remember all of that , and yes we need all of that to find the way we missed. God bless you

I been there! God has always provided for me. I was discharged. From hospital God sent me to a place to stay the owner never did charge me rent for first 30 days. My time was up there and God sent me to another place I pay $500 a month rent includes 3 meals a day. ;Laundry if u just let God provide he will make sure u are taken care off

Devil, I bind that curse out of my life and reverse it in the mighty name of Jesus. I'm a conqueror in Him. No weapon formed against should ever prosper. My Lord came that I may not be condemned but have an abundant life. A thousand shall fall at my side and ten thousand at my right hand, but it won't come near me. God is my refuge. And my present help. If he is for me, who can stand against me. I'm saved sanctified and filled with the Holy Ghost and He did not give me a spirit of fear but of love power and seld control. You should watch what you speak into someone else's life, but I'm praying because He has also given me the Keys to the Kingdom. I've binded, now I loose, joy, peace, and prosperity.

Hi Bill, A true and timely word.

Kinda reminds me of Romans 5:3-5. "Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, know that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this: God has made the one as well as the other.... Ecclesiastes 7:14 (The Message)

I think this message is deep. The key success factor is actually grit from God's perspective. Like it, Thank you for sharing!

Sorry, the first one was actually NIV On a good day, enjoy yourself; On a bad day, examine your conscience. God arranges for both kinds of days So that we won’t take anything for granted. Ecclesiastes 7:14 The Message (MSG)

Dear Dr. Mounce, There has been a view put forward that God uses scriptures to correct His children and supports this with a specific verse. Also, the view espoused above has been criticized as misrepresenting God and responsible for turning people against God or at the very least hindering faith in His power - both of which are not good consequences. Therefore, I request you to re-consider the scriptures in light of what the it specifically says about correction and I presume that there may not be a sufficient biblical basis for espousing the view that God wants us to suffer pain in order to learn. Pramod John

What a wonderful choice of words. So uplifting and at the same time bring us to our knees Thank you.

Wow, in full agreement. Over the past 2000 years the church has been under attack from Satan and it has resisted, matured and flourished. Because of heresies, because of falsehood attempting to creep into churches, the maturity of the church has taken place. A rich, robust, strong theology has developed and we are better for it. We have a better understanding of inspiration, inerrancy, of the divinity of Christ, and the Trinity. This is just a few, but we can see that heresy has pushed us towards a mature, knowledgeable, growing church. This church that we are part of now is the bride of Christ. And she is beautiful and smart. She is preparing for the coming of Christ.


It's about time.

Thank you so much for sharing this letter with me. Believe it or not, I am living all the attributes of this letter right now and Have been for the last 7 years. In my time of trials and tribulations I have often said, I don't know why I am going through this, I don't understand, but what I do know is,, how to treat people. How to give what other people say they can't give. How to hear what the heart say and not so much what the mouth say. How hear the sounds of disappointment and betrayal, but what's most in important to offer life and the abundant of it through Jesus who died for us all. I truly identity with this pain you are talking about, and although I am going through the most difficult time in my life, and it is painful, so, so painful, but its necessary. I don't know where God is taking me, but I want to be ready when I get there. Thank you so much for pulling my thoughts together for me and helping me to understand where I am in my life today. Than you, Sandra

This unconventional wisdom is reminiscent of the words of James. He taught us how to view the 'trials' of life. It is far too easy to take credit for our successes and bemoan the unfairness of others that caused our failures. This attitude is not only arrogant and robbing God, it doesn't lead to growth. I have tried not to be overprotective of my children or grandchildren for this very reason. I know the greatest pains in my life have propelled much change in me and my perspective. Rather than wishing these things on those I love, I chose to try to rejoice (praising God in private) when they come upon them and my loved ones gain from them. Please don't take my preferred variation on this 'benediction' as a condemnation of its author. God shows each of us what He wills and I don't claim the perspective He's given me is superior to that of the speaker of this blessing. If it is consistent with the God inspired scriptures, it has great value. May God bless those who prayerfully consider the application of this benediction in their own lives.

I've been meditating in Psalm 71 lately. The psalmist calls God, "You, who have shown me great and severe troubles". I don't usually think of God like that. But He is in charge of my life, and He has taught me from my youth, as it says above in verse 17. I realized He has taught me through those great and severe troubles that He has shown me. He is saving me out of them all, and I get to declare His wondrous works (verse 17) of His righteousness and salvation without limit, and His strength (verses 14-16). He has made me a witness of His power to save by His works in me, so that my words have weight and meaning when I speak with others. I'm not talking from theory or abstraction. I've handled, tasted, looked upon, and my fellowship really is with the Father and with His Son. He makes me authentic. What I find interesting is that God does not willingly afflict nor grieve the children of men (Lamentations 3:33). If He doesn't do it willingly, why does He do it? Because He is a good Father, who disciplines His children to share His holiness. That holiness is expressed in humility, the same character of Jesus who says He is meek and lowly in heart (Matthew 11:29). God made the Captain of our salvation perfect through sufferings. He will make us perfect the same way. These great and severe troubles have been a blessing to humble me, refine me, and make me more like Jesus. I praise God for His wisdom, His mercy, and His compassion for not leaving me in my self-centeredness.