Message by Pastor Brian Houston of Hillsong Church
“Now, bring me a musician.” While the musician played, the Lord’s hand came on Elisha. Then he said, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Dig ditch after ditch in this wadi.’ For the Lord says, ‘You will not see wind or rain, but the wadi will be filled with water, and you will drink—you and your cattle and your animals.’ 2 Kings 3:15-17, HCSB
God commanded his people to dig ditches 2 Kings 3:15-17. He promised to fill the valley, the lowest place with water, without rain. When they dug deep, below bedrock, they found that the water they needed was already there. What water is already there in your life if you will just dig deep enough?
What are you digging for? Are you digging for dirt-- on other people or yourself? Are you trying to dig up the past? Or are you searching for treasure? For water underneath the ground?
What makes people dig deeper? Success, popularity, and talent don’t cause people to dig deeper. In our pain, loss, and weakness, however we are more inclined to dig deeper in search of God, in search of his healing, restoration and strength in our lives.
Pain was introduced when sin came into the world through the curse of pain in childbirth (Genesis 3:16). Even in the midst of the pain of childbirth, however, a powerful bond is formed between a mother and child.
God promises the end of pain in Revelations 21:4, but we live in the middle, in the world where pain and sin exist. God never authors our pain, but he does allow it sometimes. And whatever God allows has a purpose. He wants to bring something deeper out of our pain.
Pain is an indicator. When we feel pain, we know something is wrong, whether it’s a broken bone or a broken relationship. This pain points us to dig deeper to find healing and fresh strength on the other side of that pain.
God shows up in our pain and transforms it into power. He took the pain of the cross and transformed it into resurrection power. When we try to run from pain, we will never grow as much as when we choose to embrace the pain and see what God wants to do through it.
We often hear the Holy Spirit speak more clearly in our times of pain than in times of success. God speaks to us louder in our pain.
Pain prepares you for things that are ahead. Athletes prepare in pain to be able to play through the pain. The way to grow your capacity is to be stretched. Don’t avoid the pain, the sacrifice, the discipline. Embrace it. God’s word comes alive when we go through pain.
David says in Psalm 119:67 that pain changed him and brought him closer to God. When he had nothing to challenge him, he lost focus on God; but because of his pain, he changed and now keeps God’s word.
“I never grew in grace until I grew in pain.”
— Charles Spurgeon
Job lost everything. He felt like God had abandoned him. On the surface he was covered with sores, but in his moment of pain, he dug deeper into God (Job 13:15). Are you going to get bitter or are you going to get better?
Let’s dig deeper into the promise of God, into the Holy Spirit, into the more that God has for you.
1. What pain are you experiencing in your life right now?
2. Can you identify how God is growing you through your pain?
3. In this season, how can you dig deeper into God?