Pain changes all of us, at some point we all experience it. No matter how much we try to out run it, hide from it, or even walk into it. It finds us…
Here is three points I think our pain serves us instead of devouring us:
I. Your Pain Is Proof
The proof is in the pudding! The pain you have experienced in your life is proof that there is a war! It is proof that no matter what is or was thrown at you, God will sustain you. Think about it? If you look back on to some of your fiercest battles in life, you should be destroyed? Right? Some of us have walked through abuse, some addiction, some cancer, some disorder and destruction, some horrible financial crisis that should have brought bankruptcy. My point is that it should and very well could have taken you out, BUT… you are reading this? You are proof, that no matter what came. God sustained you; that doesn’t mean that you were correct, or prayed perfect prayers. It proves that it rains on the just and the unjust, but God is the same in the past, present, and future. You are a walking, talking testament that no matter how hard it rains, you remain because He is faithful!
Present Suffering and Future Glory
II.) Your Pain Has Purpose
Your pain is not in vain! The uniqueness of your pain is so that your pain could provide comfort to someone else. Think about it, how many times have you went through something so painful that you thought I am not going to come out of this! Only six months after the pain you are sitting next to a beautiful soul going through exactly the same thing! If you will choose to see your pain in a different way, God will send you people to comfort and pray for. Your pain has a purpose, it isn’t a coincidence what you have been through. God let the pain happen for a purpose. God saw way down the line, He saw you! He knew that diagnoses was cancer, He knew that your pregnancy would not carry to full term, He knew that job was going to end and leave you with a pile of debt. Here is the amazing thing, He knows, He doesn’t stop it, He purposes our pain to provide for one another. If you think about it for a second it is actually a smack to the enemies face. The enemy will use people and places for inflicting pain, but God uses pain to provide a way for the gospel. Think about the gospel story, Jesus, fully God and man. Chooses to be born of a virgin, in swaddling clothes. He grows up, only to be highly persecuted by his own community, schemed against, gossiped about, run out of town, threatened to be thrown off cliffs, Invited to suppers only to be mocked even more. Nothing Jesus endured on this earth was without pain. Then you have injustice, a mock trial, trumped-up crowds screaming crucify! Beaten, and killed on a cross. Humiliated and shamed as He hung there. Even after His death the mockery still ensued. Put in a borrowed tomb. Sounds to me like a whole life of pain, but look at what God did with His own son’s pain? He saved the world!
For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.
1 Peter 2:21 ESV
If we are in Christ we are called to pain for a purpose, that is to use the pain of this life to testify to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Don’t think your pain was all in vain, it wasn’t, it was meant to glorify God.
III.) Your Pain is Preparation
The painful things that come in this life have will, or are making way for you to handle the next hurdle. Look back on things that you have been through in the past. I can remember a time where I was dealing with two harrowing things at the same time. I remember dealing with the death of my best friend, and that same afternoon I walked in from the funeral my husband looked at me and said well: ” They decided to shut down the mill indefinitely.” What was incredibly painful was not just the loss, but the months that led up to the failure! We fought so hard! Fought hard for Chris’s job to be saved on our knees and get her help! We stayed camped out in ICU rooms and the endless tests and procedures, medications, only to bury her at thirty-three years old. Then to come home to more loss, but you want to know the good news, I am standing here four years later, and I can see that God purposed my pain. He allowed us to go through the pain to help people that are dealing with total financial loss, He has allowed me to hold the hands of families living with addicts; He has allowed me to love on those families knowing the sting of their pain: the endless prayers, the tear-filled pillows, and bible pages. To give them comfort even when the ending is bitter and hard to swallow, not every story ends happily ever after and I have learned to rest in that — knowing that the pain I face today is prepping me for my purpose in Christ. Making room for my gifts and talents to glorify Him. Looking back there are so many stories of excruciating things I have personally walked through, but just glancing back long enough to see God’s hand prepping me for where I am standing today. He has done the same for you and in the hidden place is working all things out.
“Your pain is not a death sentence its a resurrection story.”
You are Lazarus, Jesus’ dear friend, who he weeps for, but calls forth out of the grave into life and life abundantly in Him. God does not take pain lightly, He identifies with it and purposes it for the furthering of the kingdom. Will you let Him use all your pieces? Even the broken ones?
God is really good at using the most painful things…
20 Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe – people and things, animals and atoms – get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the Cross. 21 You yourselves are a case study of what he does. At one time you all had your backs turned to God, thinking rebellious thoughts of him, giving him trouble every chance you got.22 But now, by giving himself completely at the Cross, actually dying for you, Christ brought you over to God’s side and put your lives together, whole and holy in his presence. 23 You don’t walk away from a gift like that! You stay grounded and steady in that bond of trust, constantly tuned in to the Message, careful not to be distracted or diverted. There is no other Message – just this one. Every creature under heaven gets this same Message. I, Paul, am a messenger of this Message. 24 I want you to know how glad I am that it’s me sitting here in this jail and not you. There’s a lot of suffering to be entered into in this world – the kind of suffering Christ takes on. I welcome the chance to take my share in the church’s part of that suffering.25 When I became a servant in this church, I experienced this suffering as a sheer gift, God’s way of helping me serve you, laying out the whole truth. 26 This mystery has been kept in the dark for a long time, but now it’s out in the open. 27 God wanted everyone, not just Jews, to know this rich and glorious secret inside and out, regardless of their background, regardless of their religious standing. The mystery, in a nutshell, is just this: Christ is in you, therefore you can look forward to sharing in God’s glory. It’s that simple. That is the substance of our Message. 28 We preach Christ, warning people not to add to the Message. We teach in a spirit of profound common sense so that we can bring each person to maturity. To be mature is to be basic. Christ! No more, no less. 29 That’s what I’m working so hard at day after day, year after year, doing my best with the energy God so generously gives me.
14 God, pick up the pieces. Put me back together again. You are my praise!
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